SC refuses to take direct action against Musharraf


SC refuses to take direct action against Musharraf

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has refused to take direct action against former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf over Dr Mubashir Hassan’s plea seeking his disqualification from the upcoming elections in view of articles 62 and 63 of the constitution.

The petitioner has argued that Musharraf violated the constitution on November 3, 2007, by imposing emergency in the country. A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has urged him to approach proper forum to raise such objections. During the hearing on Wednesday, AK Dogar, counsel for Dr Hassan, cited the July 31, 2009, judgement of the court and said, “The constitution can’t be held in abeyance at the will and whim of the army chief.”

“It is firmly laid down that holding in abeyance of constitution or any of its provision or having affect of its continuation in any manner is the subversion of the constitution and thus constitute the offence of high treason.” The chief justice said that he was unaware of his status. Upon that Dogar said that there is a judgement in PLD 1997 SC 84 that the judgement of the court becomes part of the constitution.He said that articles 62 and 63 needed to be enforced. The chief justice replied that it is the duty of the returning officer. Dogar said that there is a declaration in the judgement against Musharraf, therefore the former COAS stands convicted.

The chief justice asked him to go to the RO and raise objections with him. However, Dogar replied, “He did not say initiate proceedings against Musharraf.” Earlier, the bench allowed amendments in the petition of Dr Hassan over implementation of the court’s judgement for conducting the forthcoming elections in a free, fair, and transparent manner.During the proceedings, the chief justice observed that objective of the petition is to ensure implementation of articles 62 and 63 of the constitution, saying the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) knows better how to apply both the articles in letter and spirit.

The chief justice said that the court had passed an order on Tuesday regarding details of the candidates. He categorically said that the court cannot make a law or issue a standard operating procedure in the matter. Responding to the voters’ objections over candidates, Justice Iftikhar said that the court is unaware of any objection by a voter against any candidate.

Azher Siddique, one of the counsels for the petitioner, alleged that the ECP was concealing facts regarding verification of degrees of the parliamentarians; however, the chief justice asked him to identify people who provided wrong information to the commission so that the court could summon them for prosecution. The court adjourned the case for one week. – DailyTimes