ISLAMABAD - The Special Court Friday rejected former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s petition against the appointment of Akram Sheikh as prosecutor in the high treason case for not being maintainable.
The former president and COAS had questioned the neutrality and impartiality of Sheikh and had prayed that the federal government be directed to appoint some independent and impartial legal practitioner as a prosecutor in the instant case. The 9-page order said that the accused (Pervez Musharraf) had already expressed confidence in the judicial process, judges as well on prosecution while appearing for his indictment on March 31, 2014.
The court ruled that in the present case, the Islamabad High Court had already decided the validity of the notification of appointment of Muhammad Akram Sheikh as prosecutor, as well as the allegation of his partiality on merit vide order dated December 23, 2013, passed in writ petition No 4715/2013 and an intra-court appeal, challenging the said order, is still sub judice before the same court. “As this court is a statutory court established to try the present criminal case, it not only lacks jurisdiction to exercise judicial review of administrative actions as available to the High Court under the provisions of Article 199 of the Constitution,” says the order. The court further ruled that it even could not sit in appeal over an issue, which had already been adjudicated upon by the Islamabad High Court in its constitutional jurisdiction.
The court observed that any decision of this court if in conflict with the decision on merit of the Islamabad High Court of December 23, 2013 would not only cause confusion and complications but would also be without jurisdiction.
Anwar Mansoor Khan, counsel for Musharraf, had argued in the case that section 11 of the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1976 required appointment of a person by the federal government to conduct the prosecution of a case before a special court, but in contravention thereof in the case in hand Muhammad Akram Sheikh was appointed by the ministry of interior instead of the federal government, hence failed to fulfil the legal requirement and liable to be set aside.
He had further argued that on account of bias there always remained an apprehension that the prosecutor would conduct the case with predetermined mind that the accused be declared guilty and punished.
It is pertinent to mention here that special court would resume hearing in the treason case from April 24 wherein Farogh Nasim, counsel for Musharraf, would argue in rebuttal to the prosecution’s argument on the application, filed by defence counsel seeking trial of all the abettors under the treason charges in the former president’s emergency proclamation of November 3, 2007 and copy of the investigation report, conducted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
On April 16, Prosecutor Akram Sheikh while submitting his reply in the instant application had told the special court that Musharraf in his personal capacity issued Proclamation of Emergency, as no record pertaining to summary or advice was available in the Prime Minister House that could prove that former PM Shaukat Aziz had advised the President for 3rd November action.