ISLAMABAD - After three months, the Special Court would take up the high treason case against General (r) Pervez Musharraf today as the federation yesterday issued a notification of Justice Mazhar Alam Khan as its president.

With the inclusion of Justice Mazhar, the Special Court has been completed. The post of the Special Court president had been lying vacant since December 2015 following the elevation of former Sindh High Court Justice Chief Justice Faisal Arab as a Supreme Court judge.

The apex court, on the appeal of the then chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, ruled the Special Court should not delay the high treason case and proceed against the former army chief. Attorney General Salman Butt told the apex court that General (r) Pervez Musharraf was solely responsible for the 3rd November 2007 action.

The judgment said there was no provision in the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act, 1976, requiring the Special Court to await the result of any fresh investigation or to postpone the trial of an accused person till an amended or additional statement of the case or list of accused persons or the charge is submitted by the federal government after such fresh investigation.

The Special Court passed an order on November 27, 2015, to implicate former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, former chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and ex-law minister Zahid Hamid in the high treason. It directed the joint investigation team to investigate them as well and submit its report. However, the apex court set aside the Special Court and Islamabad High Court orders to implicate others as abettors.

Since the pronouncement of the November 27 order, no proceedings of the Special Court were held. In the last two hearings, the registrar of the court announced the adjournment.

Akram Sheikh, chief prosecutor in the high treason case, told The Nation that the court’s 26th February judgment had supported their stance. He said in the light of the superior court’s judgments there was no doubt that Musharraf had imposed emergency on November 3, 2007.

The court judgment also said conducting investigation into the matter was surely a prerogative of the federal government and the Special Court had no jurisdiction to direct the investigating agency to associate the appellant or any other particular person with such investigation.

It said according to Section 5 of the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act, 1976, the Special Court proceedings begin with the filing of a written complaint by the federal government against a particular accused person or persons.

Under Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, which is applicable to a special court, on receipt of a complaint of an offence it may postpone the issue of process for compelling attendance of the person or persons against whom the complaint has been filed or probe the case itself or order an inquiry or investigation to ascertain the truth or falsehood of the complaint. But it could not direct an inquiry or investigation at a stage where the trial of a person has already commenced and is nearing conclusion, the court order said.

Under the said provisions of the law, the court has no jurisdiction to order an inquiry or investigation against a person or persons against whom there is no complaint before the court, it concluded.