LAHORE - A day before a three-member special court is likely to announce its verdict in the long-drawn high treason case on Tuesday, the Lahore High Court on Monday issued a notice to the federal government on former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s application urging it to stay the high treason case proceedings pending before a special court in Islamabad. The former president in his application asked the high court to declare the proceedings from initiation of the high treason complaint to the appointment of the prosecutor and constitution of the trial court as unconstitutional.

On Saturday, in an application filed through senior lawyers Khawaja Ahmad Tariq Raheem and Azhar Siddique, Gen Musharraf asked the LHC to stay the trial at the special court until his earlier petition pending adjudication by the high court is decided. In that petition the former president had challenged the formation of a special court holding his trial under charges of high treason and legal flaws committed in the procedure.

The application urged the high court to immediately suspend all actions, including the filing of the complaint, submission of a challan, the appointment of a prosecution team and constitution of the trial court. During Monday’s proceedings, Justice Syed Mazahar Akbar Ali Naqvi asked why the second application was submitted if another petition by Musharraf was already being heard in the LHC. On this, Advocate Siddique said this was a miscellaneous application. “Would it be reasonable to form a full bench to hear Musharraf’s petitions?” asked Justice Naqvi, in response to which Siddique and the government lawyer said the court had nearly heard the entire matter and there was no need to form a full bench. Issuing a notice to the federal government on Musharraf’s application for Tuesday, the court decided to hear it alongside the main petition set for hearing in the LHC the same day. The high treason trial of the former military dictator for clamping the state of emergency on Nov 3, 2007, has been pending since December 2013. He was booked in the treason case in December 2013.