ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Saturday constituted a three-judge bench to resume hearing in five identical petitions seeking initiation of proceedings against General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution read with the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973, for subverting constitution and proclamation of emergency in the country on 3rd November 2007.

With the addition of Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, the bench also comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain will take up the matter tomorrow (Monday).

Advocate on Record (AOR) Sardar Muhammad Siddique Khan for former President and Chief of Army Staff had filed an application for constitution of the full court/larger bench on behalf of Raja Muhammad Ibrahim Satti, Musharraf counsel for respondent No.4 in civil petition No.2255 of 2010.

The Chief Justice having taken into consideration discreetly the contents of the application and for the reason that two kinds of jurisdictions of this court have been invoked, therefore, in the interest of justice, constituted a 3-member bench comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan for disposal of the cases. 

The Chief Justice in its order noted that the application by Ibrahim Satti is arising out of a judgement dated 14.10.2010 passed by two learned judges of High Court of Sindh, whereby petition under Article 199 of the Constitution filed by the petitioner has been dismissed.

Under Order XI of the Supreme Court Rules, 1980 petitions for leave to appeal ordinarily are to be heard and disposed of by a bench of two Judges but the Chief Justice, in a fit case, can constitute a bench consisting not less than three judges.

There are also other petitions, filed under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, which shall also be heard and disposed of by a bench consisting of not less than two judges under Order XXV Rule 2 of the Supreme Court Rules.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has demanded of the federal government to file a complaint under Section 3 of the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973, invoking Article 6 of the Constitution, 1973, against Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf and other abettors and all collaborators for abrogating and subverting the Constitution, 1973.

The PBC in its 201st meeting held at Council’s Office, Supreme Court Building, in the chair of Syed Qalb-i-Hassan, Vice-Chairman PBC, on Saturday also nominated former president Supreme Court Bar Association Muhammad Yaseen Azad as its representative to the Judicial Commission of Pakistan in terms of Article 175A of the Constitution.

The PBC appreciating resolution adopted by the Senate and reiterating its earlier resolution for trial of Gen (Retd) Pervaiz Musharraf for high treason under Article 6 of the Constitution, unanimously passed:

“The Council has always stood for the rule of law, democracy and independence of judiciary, and is of the considered view that all those perpetrators who have played with the destiny of poor people of Pakistan and had violated provisions of the Constitution should be made punishable for such crimes. The ex-dictatorial regime of Gen Pervez Musharraf, squarely responsible for most of the violations of law and Constitution plus the erosion of the sovereignty of the state by permitting the United States of America to intrude into the internal affairs of the state resulting into unprecedented crises of security and law and order; the present regime of the state is therefore under a constitutional, legal and moral obligation to invoke Article 6 of the Constitution and institute proceedings under the High Treason Act 1973.

 so as to award exemplary punishment to ex-General Pervez Musharraf for all his misdeeds and the havoc that he has brought upon the country.

The government is, therefore, called upon to realise the clarion call of the day at the earliest lest it may not cut a sorry figure at latter stage, wherein no explanation may serve their purpose,” the resolution said.