Musharraf treason case
14 SC judges accused of being ‘conspirators’
* Musharraf’s counsel tells court authors of July 31, 2009 judgement took oath under PCO
* Court asks Kasuri to let federation initiate trial against judges if they are abettors
By Hasnaat Malik
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Wednesday issued notice to the interior secretary asking him to provide documentary evidence regarding the steps taken in former president Gen Pervez Musharraf’s high treason case.
The summon was issued by a two-judge bench comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain when it resumed hearing of five identical petitions seeking a treason trial against Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 of the constitution. During the course of proceeding, Ahmad Raza Kasuri, counsel for Musharraf, requested establishment of a larger bench, arguing that many important questions would rise in the case and a larger bench would be required for the purpose.
Kasuri argued that it was an obligation of the state to initiate any legal proceedings and no bench could initiate them on its own, adding that the principle of separation of powers conferred to institutions must be followed. He termed the proceedings by the 14-judge larger bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) an ex-parte proceedings, saying his client was convicted unheard and in his absence. Ibraheem Satti, another counsel for Musharraf, while responding to a petition filed by Abdul Hakeem Khan also requested for establishment of a larger bench.
Kasuri alleged that the 14 judges who gave the July 31, 2009, judgement declaring November 2007 emergency unconstitutional were also abettors and conspirators because they had taken oath under the PCO. The court told Kasuri to let the federation initiate trial against the judges as well if they are abettors. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court directed the interior secretary to submit documents pertaining to the steps taken after the Sindh High Court Bar Association judgement, Senate’s unanimous resolution after the return of Musharraf to the country.
Earlier, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs’ Acting Secretary Sohail Qadeer Siddiqi told the bench that the government had on December 29, 1994 issued an SRO designating the secretary interior as the officer who would lodge the complaint about any act falling within the definition of high treason. Federation’s representative Attorney General Irfan Qadir submitted the federation’s written stance, according to which the caretaker cabinet is deliberating before proceeding in the matter. The case was adjourned till April 22.