LHC asks how does Article 6 apply on imposition of emergency by Musharraf

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A bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday heard petition of former president Pervez Musharraf seeking suspension of the special court’s earlier decision of reserving the verdict in the high treason case against him and staying the treason case trial being conducted against him until he recuperates and appears before the court.

Musharraf’s counsel in his arguments said that the former prime minister initiated this case over personal grudge and that the Supreme Court didn’t issue any orders to the government in this regard. “Whether the matter was presented in the parliament,” the court asked, and was informed that it was not the case.

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During the proceedings, the high court questioned how the former president’s actions in 2007 fall under the ambit of Article 6 of the constitution. “Isn’t declaring an emergency and abrogating the constitution two separate things?” Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi asked Additional Attorney General Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan. “Where does the Article 6 apply? What does the SC judgment say?” Justice Naqvi probed further. “It was the emergency or breach of the constitution, three to four senior judges have given their opinion over it,” he said. “You didn’t inquire into the matter and are talking about Article 6,” he remarked. “If you had to initiate a treason case, then what was the need of an inquiry,” he questioned. “Is this process meets the transparency required into the matter,” he further asked. “In case the legal requirements were not met, the government can take back the complaint or not,” the court asked, and directed the government lawyer to discuss the matter with federal interior secretary on whether the former military ruler imposing emergency in 2007 amounts to the abrogation of the constitution. The court further asked whether the complaint can be withdrawn at this stage and sought the interior secretary’s opinion on how the act falls under Article 6.

Additional Attorney General Ishtiaq A Khan requested the court to grant time for getting instructions from the interior secretary. The court granted him time and adjourned the hearing until December 17.