LAHORE                   -                The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday returned an application of former president Pervez Musharraf for suspending operation of the special court’s judgment, after putting objection that it could not be entertained during the winter vacation.

The LHC registrar office directed for filing the application after winter vacation, which would conclude on January 8, 2020.

Earlier, Pervez Musharraf moved LHC against the verdict passed by the Islamabad-based Special Court in a high treason case filed against him for suspending the constitution on November 3, 2007.

A civil miscellaneous application, consisting of 86 pages, was filed by Advocate Azhar Siddique on behalf of the former president, citing the federal government and others as respondents, and challenging the Special Court’s verdict, in which death sentence was awarded to Musharraf under Article 6 of the constitution after finding him guilty of high treason.

The petition says that the “judgment contained a mix of anomalies and contradictory statements”, and that the trial court “rapidly and hurriedly wrapped up the trial which was far from conclusion”.

It further says that the special court “announced an award of capital punishment to the applicant without examining the accused under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code (power to examine the accused). The importance of examining the accused in a criminal trial is enormous and any lapse, failure or omission to fulfill this requirement adversely affects the prosecution case. A criminal trial cannot simply [be] complete without adhering to this mandatory legal requirement.”

The special court “has not taken into consideration that no actions detrimental to national interest were taken by the applicant” as “no offence of high treason is made out from the evidence presented against him [Musharraf] before the special court”, it highlights.

The special court verdict’s graphic paragraph 66 reads: “We direct the law enforcement agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive/convict [Pervez Musharraf] and to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk [in front of the Parliament House], Islamabad, Pakistan, and be hanged for three days”.

The application also challenged this paragraph, saying that: “The Honourable respective president of the special court has crossed all religious moral, civil and constitutional limits, while ruthlessly, irreligiously, unlawfully, unrealistically awarding a debilitating, humiliating, unprecedented and against the dignity of a person sentence […] through para 66.”

The petitioner submitted that the instant application may very kindly be allowed and the Judgment carrying order dated 17-12-2019 be declared illegal, without jurisdiction, unconstitutional, in violation of Article 10-A, 4, 5, 10 and 10-A of the Constitution, perverse, arbitrary and based on surmises.

The applicant also submitted that the operation of special court’s Judgment may very kindly be suspended till the decision of the writ petition. The petitioner also requested the court to seek complete trial record of the special court for the purpose of adequate, full and proper adjudication of the case.

Musharraf had last month filed the writ petition, in which he had challenged the formation of the special court for holding his trial on charges of high treason. He had also pointed out legal flaws allegedly committed in the procedure.

However, after three days of his filing of the petition, Musharraf was handed the death penalty by the special court.

Now the civil miscellaneous application filed in the writ petition has been fixed for hearing on January 9 along with the main petition.