Pakistan apex court rejects Musharraf’s review plea

Islamabad, Jan 30: The Pakistan Supreme Court Thursday rejected as “not based on merit” and “irrelevant” a plea by former president Pervez Musharraf seeking review of the apex court’s July 31, 2009 ruling denouncing proclamation of emergency by him Nov 3, 2007.

The apex court’s 14-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, disposed of the petition contending that the plea was not based on merit and the arguments presented were irrelevant to the case, Dawn online reported.

Earlier, during the hearing, Musharraf’s counsel Sharifuddin Pirzada said unconstitutional steps had been taken several times in the past and the judiciary had allowed the steps on important issues.

In order to substantiate his claims, Pirzada gave examples of Canada and India, where emergency had been imposed in the past.

Justice Jawad S. Khawaja asked if Article 6 was also applicable in Canada, to which Pirzada responded that it is not applicable in Canada but in a few other countries.

Giving reference of ‘Quaid-i-Azam’ Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pirzada said Quaid had prohibited federal courts from interfering in matters of high courts and, according to his stance, the courts should not interfere in matters of the federal government.

Pirzada said it was essential for a judge to be impartial and a judge should pass judgments without accepting any influence.

Chief Justice Jilani asked Pirzada to point out which paragraph in the application proved that the chief justice was prejudiced.

On Dec 23, 2013, Musharraf had filed a petition after four years, seeking review of the landmark July 31, 2009, decision, but the court returned the review petition raising eight objections against which an appeal was filed.

The review petition had pleaded that Musharraf was facing trial before a special court for the offence of high treason on the basis of the July 31, 2009, verdict of the apex court, also accepting for the first time that the constitutional deviation by clamping the Nov 3, 2007, emergency was for public good and to get rid of former chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry as well as some judges as their removal had then become impossible under the normal legal procedures.

The review petition argued that former prime minister Shaukat Aziz had recommended taking extra-constitutional measures for proclaiming the Nov 3 emergency.

The Nawaz Sharif-led government set up the special court last year to try the former army chief on charges of high treason for imposing emergency and subverting the constitution.

IANS