Islamabad- OUR STAFF REPORTER/ agencies - The three-member bench headed by Justice Jawad S Khwaja resumed hearing of petitions filed for treason case against former military dictator General (r) Pervez Musharraf and ordered a petitioner to submit the record of Maulvi Iqbal Haider’s petition from Sindh High Court. Petitioner Iqbal Haider’s counsel AK Dogar said how rulers would learn lesson from the history if the man who violated the constitution is treated as VIP. It is the duty of the Supreme Court to close the door of abrogation and subversion of constitution for all times to come.

The counsel argued if the court would not discourage this trend then some young gentlemen in army may also have the desire to become the president. “Had the constitution not been subverted we would not have lost half of the country," he said referring to cession of Bangladesh.  He emphasised that it is the duty of the judges and the lawyers to protect the constitution from such future military interventions, adding the inbuilt mechanism has been provided in the 'green book' to safeguard the constitution. Justice Jawad S Khwaja asked the petitioner to suggest punishment for the accused for promulgating emergency and PCO on November 3, 2007. AK Dogar replied that the issue should be referred to the special trial court which would take ultimate decision regarding penalty of Pervez Musharraf.

Justice Ejaz Afzal said that no declaration was sought and also this court was not urged to declare Musharraf guilty of high treason and punish him. Justice Khilji Arif Hussain said that in Sindh High Court Bar Association case, petitioner Hamid Khan advocate had directly challenged the November 3 action.

AK Dogar stated that they have prayed before the Sindh High Court that Musharraf be declared guilty of high treason and action should be taken against him in accordance with Article 6 of the constitution. He said the SHC had asked them to approach the apex court for direction in the matter.

He contended that the present case was of execution and not adjudication and the court now only had to decide about the quantum of his (Musharraf) sentence. He prayed to the court to issue the direction to the executive.

SC calls Centre’s reply on land reforms: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the federal government and the law minister to submit reply in land reform case in the next hearing on Tuesday (today).

A nine-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed hearing petition filed by Workers Party against judicial verdict regarding land reforms. Petitioner told the court that the government did not submit its reply in the court regarding land reform case.

The chief justice asked the federation and the law ministry what would be status of land reforms after the 18th Amendment, adding whether it would be responsibility of the federal government or provinces.

The chief justice made it clear that these are such questions which reply should be given by the federal government.

Petitioner Abid Hussain Manto said that the verdict announced by the court regarding land reform is against the spirit of human rights.

The petitioner furthering his statement said that East Pakistan implemented law reforms in 1949 but West Pakistan could not adopt it due to the feudal system.

Addressing the attorney general, the chief justice asked why he was silent. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said that the federal government is passing from the stage of transition of power; that is why it could not submit its reply in this regard.

The chief justice said that the court has nothing to do with the transition of power as the attorney general is present in the court.

The Supreme Court ordered the federal government and the law minister to submit reply in land reforms case on the next hearing to be held Tuesday.