Musharraf can conditionally file nomination papers, says SC

The former president is all set to return to Pakistan after Eidul Fitr


Hasnaat Malik June 07, 2018
Parvez Musharraf. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: In an unprecedented development, the top court has summoned former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on June 13 in response to a petition against his lifetime disqualification to contest the elections in view of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) 2013 judgement.

The Supreme Court’s three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, on Thursday took up an appeal, filed by Musharraf against the PHC verdict to disqualify him for life for promulgating emergency in November 2007. Musharraf is also head of the All Pakistan Muslim League (AML).

The court also assured that Musharraf’s counsel the former president would not be arrested. It also allowed the returning officers to receive his nomination papers for the upcoming election. However, acceptance of his nomination papers will be subject to the outcome of this case.

Musharraf handed over 4,000 Pakistanis to foreign countries

When the case was called, the CJP asked ‘who is Syed Pervez Musharraf?’ “He is the former army chief and the former president of Pakistan,” Musharraf’s counsel Qamar Afzal told the court.

To a query from the bench, the counsel said Musharraf had filed nomination papers for NA-32 Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) prior to the 2013 polls. The nomination papers were initially accepted but were later turned down by an appellate tribunal.

“The appellate court’s decision was challenged in the PHC, which disqualified him for life,” he said.

The petition said the PHC decision was an excessive exercise of judicial authority as it failed to provide and protect the rights guaranteed under articles 4, 9, 10, 17, 25 of the Constitution.

It said the judgement failed to adjudicate and decide the question of qualification and disqualification of the petitioner in an objective manner. “July 31, 2009 judgement cannot be made a basis for [Musharraf’s] disqualification to contest elections,” it added. According to the petition, Musharraf in order to ‘serve and help his country’ had also reached Pakistan to participate in election process.

A senior leader of Musharraf’s party said the former military man will return to Pakistan after Eid. Legal experts, however, are not convinced that he will come to attend hearing at Lahore on June 13.

Currently, Musharraf is being tried by a special court for subverting the Constitution on November 3, 2007 and the prosecution is trying its best to record his statement under 342CrPc in this case. The special court has already ordered the federal government to suspend his CNIC and passport.

While former prime minister Nawaz Sharif insists that he is facing reprisal for initiating a treason case against the former military ruler, the outgoing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government did not issue a notification regarding the composition of the special court for his same trial.

Musharraf set to lead 23-party alliance

On April 7, CJP Nisar proposed fresh composition of the special bench, led by the Lahore High Court Chief Justice Yawar Ali. He also proposed names of a Sindh High Court judge, Justice Nazar Akbar, and Justice Tahira Safdar of the Balochistan High Court.

The top judge suggested the new composition after the PHC Chief Justice Yahya Afridi recused himself from hearing the case on March 29. Justice Yawar Ali is set to retire on October 22 this year and it remains to be seen if the proceedings could conclude before his retirement.

Sources in the law ministry told The Express Tribune that the notification could be issued after the federal cabinet’s approval.  A summary in this regard had been sent to the outgoing cabinet of former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, but it was never made part of the cabinet’s agenda.

COMMENTS (1)

BrainBro | 3 years ago | Reply Why are civilians even bothering with the elections; they know only one man decides who gets to win.
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