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‘Musharraf counsel banking on arguments already declared null & void by LHC’: Akram Sheikh

February 12, 2014

Head of Prosecution Team Barrister Akram Sheikh on Tuesday informed the Special Court that General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf’s counsel was busy in banking on arguments which had already been declared null and void by Lahore High Court.

The three-member bench, headed by Justice Faisal Arab, and comprising Justice Tahira Safdar and Justice Yawar Ali resumed hearing of the case against Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf for breaching the Constitution by imposing proclamation of Emergency on November 03, 2007.

At the outset of hearing, Musharraf’s counsel Dr. Khalid Ranjha continued his arguments over the jurisdiction of the Special Court, constituted to hear the treason case.

He concluded his arguments by saying that the court has no authority to hear the case against Pervez Musharraf in the presence of Army Act 1952 which have a provision for trial of high treason offence for army personnel.

Responding to the arguments, Chief Prosecutor Akram Sheikh apprised the bench that Musharraf’s lawyer Dr. Khalid Ranjha was focusing on Army Act which was declared null by the Lahore High Court in 1977.

On this, Khalid Ranjha said that the Supreme Court has endorsed the Act in Sheikh Aftab Hussain case in 1999.

Barrister Akram Sheikh asked that how Musharraf’s counsel depend on the Amended Act which had already been declared unconstitutional in 1977.

He said that there was not a single word against high treason in the Army Act 1952, so that it was never mentioned in the any schedule of law and the said Act was for a specific area and for specific time. For that reason, courts did not endorse the law, he added.

He said that the reference of law which courts have termed unconstitutional, was contempt of court.

Prosecutor Akram Sheikh said that high treason Act never remained part of the Army Act and it was introduced on April 30, 1977 which the high court termed unconstitutional on June 05, 1977 as the Act was introduced for proclamation of martial law in Lahore and other major cities.

During his arguments Dr. Khalid Ranjha said that the incumbent government, out of personal vendetta, had initiated trial against Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution, read with High Treason (Punishment) Act 1973.

The Special Court was established under Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act 1976.

He said Army Act was applicable on an army man breaching the Constitution.

Ranjha also sought the transfer of Musharraf’s case to a military court, citing provisions of the Army Act.

He said that sections relating to high treason were included in the Army Act 1952 and added that under Article 245, the Army Act would even apply to civilians, living in areas where the army had been summoned.

He contended that the special court cannot conduct a trial of either a person who is in uniform or retired, adding that it is mandatory in law that military personal could only be court martialled under the Army Act if they commit any offence.

Later, the court adjourned hearing for Wednesday (February 12) by directing Prosecutor Akram Sheikh to continue his arguments.

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Source: Baluchistan Express, The

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