“We are satisfied with the court’s order and looking forward to the government’s seriousness in the instant case,” said Engineer Jameel Ahmed, one of the petitioners after the court’s order.
Talking to ‘The News’ outside the Supreme Court, he however, said if they felt that the government was not serious in the matter, they would again knock at the doors of the court.
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the federal government to proceed against the former president and army chief Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf as per the undertaking of June 26, 2013, and conclude the investigation without unnecessary delay under the Article 6 of the Constitution.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, and comprising Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, disposed of the petitions, seeking the high treason trial of Pervez Musharraf for abrogating the Constitution, after the government set up a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) committee to probe the treason case against the retired general.
The court disposed of the petitions after Attorney General Munir A Malik submitted before the apex court that the government had constituted an inquiry committee comprising senior functionaries of the FIA, and itwould be up to the said committee to undertake the investigation.
The court, in its order, ruled that the prayer in these petitions thus effectively appeared to have been accepted by the government. “We can expect that such investigation shall be concluded without unnecessary delay,” the court ruled in its order.
The court recalled that the counsel representing the respondent had also stated on the previous date of hearing that these matters would be brought to an end in view of the statement filed by the federal government on June 26, 2013.
The court also took into consideration the resolution of the Senate of January 23, 2012 and took judicial notice of the speech of the president and that of the prime minister of Pakistan in parliament.
“We are consciously, deliberately and as submitted by Muhammad Ibrahim Satti, learned counsel for the respondent (Musharraf) not touching the question of ‘abrogation’ or ‘subversion’ or ‘holding in abeyance the Constitution’ or ‘any conspiracy in that behalf’ or indeed the question of suspending or holding the Constitution in abeyance or the issue as to abetment or collaboration in the acts mentioned in Article 6 of the Constitution. This is so because any finding/observation or view expressed by us may potentially result in prejudice to the inquiry/ investigation or subsequent trial that will take place as a result of such investigation,” the court further ruled in its order.
The court said that the federal government had proceeded in furtherance of its constitutional obligation envisioned in Article 6 of the Constitution and for the present, this sufficed in terms of the said article and the relief respectively sought by the petitioners in their petitions.
“We, therefore, dispose of these petitions in the above terms with the observation that the federal government shall proceed as per undertaking of June 26, 2013, without unnecessary delay.”
The federal government, while submitting its statement on June 26, 2013, before the court, through Attorney General Munir A Malik, stated that the prime minister had directed the interior secretary to forthwith direct the FIA director general to constitute a special investigation team of senior officers to commence an inquiry and investigation in relation to the acts of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf of November 3, 2007, that might amount to high treason under Article 6 of the Constitution and to finalise as expeditiously as possible. The statement of case would be put up by the federal government before the special court to be constituted under the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Courts) Act, 1976. Similarly, the court was also informed that on the completion of investigation, the federal government would file the requisite complaint under Section 5 of the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Courts) Act, 1976, and take steps to constitute the special court in accordance with the Section 4 of the said Act for the trial of the offence.
The petitioners included Maulvi Iqbal Haider, Lahore High Court Bar Association through its President Barrister Amjad Malik, Chairman Association of Pakistan Lawyers (England), Sheikh Ahsanud Din, Advocate Supreme Court, and President Lahore High Court Rawalpindi Bench Abdul Hakeem Khan advocate and Engineer Jameel Ahmed of the Communist Party Pakistan.
They prayed that the federal government be directed to lodge a complaint under Article 6 of the Constitution against the respondent Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf and others.“We are satisfied with the court’s order and looking forward to the government’s seriousness in the instant case,” said Engineer Jameel Ahmed, one of the petitioners after the court’s order.
Talking to ‘The News’ outside the Supreme Court, he however, said if they felt that the government was not serious in the matter, they would again knock at the doors of the court.Malik Qamar Afzal, counsel for General (retd) Pervez Musharaf, also expressed satisfaction with the court’s order in the instant case. “We are protected as due process of law as well as free and fair trial of our client is ensured.”