Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday gave three weeks’ time to federation and former President Pervez Musharraf to submit their replies in four identical petitions challenging a verdict of the Special Court conducting high treason case against the former military ruler.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah conducted the hearing of the petitions filed by former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, former judge of Supreme Court Justice (Retd) Abdul Hameed Dogar, former Law Minister Zahid Hamid and former President District Bar Association Rawalpindi Taufiq Asif Advocate.

During the hearing, the federal government assured the IHC that it would submit its reply in this matter on the next date of hearing of the petitions.

Earlier, the IHC had sought reply from the federation and former President Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf on these petitions.

A Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Afnan Karim Kundi appeared before the bench and pleaded that federation’s reply on the instant matter is almost completed and would be submitted on next date of hearing.

Advocate Faroogh Naseem, leading counsel for Musharraf, did not appear before the court due to his father’s illness; however, Advocate Faisal Chuadhry appeared before the court on Faroogh Naseem’s behalf and sought three weeks’ time from the court for the submission of reply on the matter.

The court accepted Musharraf’s counsel plea and directed the federal government as well as Musharraf’s counsel to submit their replies on next date of hearing.

Later, the IHC bench adjourned the hearing for further proceedings of the matter for three weeks. In this matter, the petitioners had challenged the Special Court’s verdict in the IHC and subsequently IHC stayed the verdict issued by the Special Court and restrained it from hearing a treason case against former President Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf.

Barrister Wasim Sajjad, counsel for former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz; Khawaja Haris Ahmed, counsel for Zahid Hamid; Advocate Iftikhar Gillani, counsel for Abdul Hameed Dogar; and Advocate Taufiq Asif pleaded before the bench that the application filed by former President Musharraf in the special court was based on assumptions, without solid evidence on record which proved any other person had collaborated, aided or abetted Musharraf in imposing the state of emergency in 2007.

They further maintained that the accused has no right to ask for a joint trial with co-accused, as it is only the right of the prosecution to decide who to prosecute under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

They said that their clients have been made co-accused in the treason case by the special court without issuing them notice and investigating them.

Therefore, they pleaded the court to restrain special court from hearing the treason case against Musharraf, till the final decision of the bench.