ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed former President Pervez Musharraf’s review petitions against the July 31, 2009 judgment of the apex court on the basis of which federal government has initiated a high treason case against him.
The July judgment had declared Musharraf’s November 3, 2007 Proclamation of Emergency and the Provisional Constitutional Order as unconstitutional.
A 14-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, in its short order said the review petitions were time barred and the arguments advance by Musharraf’s counsels were not in the purview of the review petitions.
The apex court heard the case for three days. Ibrahim Satti and Sharifuddin Pirzada on behalf of the former president and Chief of Army Staff pleaded the case and raised objections on biasness and role of Supreme Court, particularly former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, in passing the judgment.
Musharraf’s legal team at no stage demanded apex court direction for the fair trial by the Special Court, though the court proposed many times that it could pass an order that Musharraf trial be conducted without being influenced by the July 31 judgment and decided on its own merits.
It seemed that Musharraf team was least bothered about the fair trial and the decision on merit for the high treason case. They even did not pray for forgiveness for Musharraf; rather, they confessed the ex-president had promulgated the Emergency on Nov 3 on his own discretion.
Five lines order said: “Reasons to be recorded later. We find the review petitions barred by time and the precedents cited distinguishable. On merit, the petitions do not fall on the purview of the review therefore both the petitions filed by him (Pervez Musharraf) are dismissed.”
Musharraf on December 13, 2013 had filed the two review petitions against July 2009 judgment, delivered on the petitions filed by Nadeem Ahmed and Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA). Musharraf petitions were time barred by four years and five months, but his counsels mainly relied on Mian Nawaz Sharif case.
In the three days, Musharraf counsels failed to impress the 14-member bench, as they quoted irrelevant judgments and incidents.
During Thursday’s proceeding, the court asked from Sharifuddin Pirzada whether through an appeal he wanted forgiveness for his client. He replied: “I would not ask for this.” Similarly when Satti was pointed out that he had not referred to any mode of judgment for fair trial of his client. His terse reply was “the court could accept or reject the review petitions”.
Pirzada in his argument referred to SC judgments delivered in cases of Nusrat Bhutto and Zafar Ali Shah. Justice Saqib Nisar asked what he wanted to prove with these judgments. The counsel said the Supreme Court had validated the Emergency and Martial Law in the past. He said in the past constitutional deviation had been taking place and the apex court had condoned them.
Justice Saqib asked him if he wanted the court to validate Musharraf’s extra-constitutional measure and the future unconstitutional actions. Pirzada said he did not want licence for the future, adding, “I think it (Musharraf Emergency) is liable to be condoned”.
Justice Khilji Arif Hussain remarked that on Wednesday Ibrahim Satti said that the then Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in his letter to Musharraf also mentioned that 1,000 persons have been killed. He asked the learned counsel that as more than 6,000 persons were killed in 2013, should emergency be imposed.
Pirzada also referred many incidents when emergency was imposed in other countries as well. He said in Canada the governor general on the request of the prime minister suspended the parliament. In 1975-77 Indra Ghandi imposed emergency in India and suspended the judges.
The senior counsel informed the court what Quaid-e-Azam visualised about Supreme Court. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja asked him to tell what Quaid said about Emergencies and Martial Laws. Pirzada didn’t reply to the query but said that in 1925 the Quaid lunched the movement to abolish the Privy Counsel and demanded establishment of Supreme Court of India. He said Quaid wanted that Supreme Court only hear the appeals on the Civil and Criminal side.
Justice Azmat told him that they were hearing the review petitions and not the petition on the amendment of the constitution. “There is no nexus between argument and the review petitions.” Justice Khosa said that it was not the public forum for debate. Then Pirzada started telling about the Charter of Democracy. But the court refused to hear his irrelevant arguments.
On the conclusion of Pirzada’s arguments Ibrahim Satti again came on the rostrum and said this court should do something about his client as criminal complaint has been filed. He said that his client is in the cage. Justice Nasirul Mulk remarked: “We think he is in the hospital and not in the cage.” The court after hearing the arguments reserved the judgment and after the break announced the short order, while its reasons would be announced later.