ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday issued a detailed judgement in a petition challenging the order of the special court dated November 21 wherein it had ordered inclusion of names of former PM Shaukat Aziz, former federal minister Zahid Hamid and former Supreme Court chief justice as abettors of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in imposing Emergency in 2007.

In the verdict, the IHC bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah on December 23 had stayed the special court’s proceedings. The bench issued its five-page judgment on Monday (today).

It maintains, “In the circumstances, it would be futile to proceed against Musharraf alone, so to meet the ends of justice, the special court may suspend its proceedings till the final adjudication of the present petitions.” Justice Athar also noted, “Pursuant to the consent of all the parties to the proceedings before the special court, the federal government is hereby restrained from proceedings against the petitioners.”

On December 23, the bench stayed the proceedings of special court that is conducting high treason trial against Pervez Musharraf for imposing November 3, 2007 emergency and abrogation of the Constitution. This special court was constituted under the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act, 1976. The IHC bench, in its detailed judgment, duly mentioned the federal government’s consent in this regard and said, “All the parties, including the federal government, agree that the proceedings before the Special Court may be stayed till final adjudication of the present petitions.”

The court order maintained, “On the basis of the arguments of Khawaja Haris Ahmed, counsel for Zahid Hamid, it prima facie appears that this court has the jurisdiction to proceed in the matter in exercise of powers vested under Article 199 of the Constitution. This opinion is subject to the hearing of the arguments from the other learned counsel.”

"Khawaja Haris and Iftikhar Gillani, besides addressing the question of maintainability, have also argued on merits. They have, inter alia, raised the question of the jurisdiction of the special court regarding the inclusion of the petitioners as co-accused. They contended that the impugned order is in violation of Article 10-A of the Constitution. Moreover, the grievance of the petitioners relates to right to a fair trial,” the judge noted in the verdict.  Further hearing in this matter will commence from February 3.