ISLAMABAD- Former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf on Monday filed an appeal against the Special Court’s 21st February order under the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Courts) Act, 1976 with the prayer to declare it illegal, unlawful and of no consequence.

The former Chief of Army Staff filed the Criminal Appeal under Section 12 of the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act, 1976, read with all enabling provisions of the law, and made the Special Court through its registrar and Secretary Ministry of Interior as respondents.

He further prayed that the Special Court be directed to take immediate steps under Section 549 CrPC and not to proceed with the trial of high treason against him.

The petitioner earlier challenged the judgment of the Special Court before the Islamabad High Court vide petition No. 3608/2014, but the IHC returned the same with objection that under section 12 (3) of Special Courts Act 1976, the petitioner should prefer appeal before the SCP, therefore, he moved the SC against Special Court 21st February order.

Sharif-ud-Din Pirzada, Dr. Khalid Ranjha, Anwar Mansoor and Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif who filed the petition on behalf of the retired general pleaded that when the offence was committed at time Musharraf he was in service of Pakistan. The same being “civil offence” renders it triable under the Army Act 1952.

“Even where an army personnel retires he can be called back not only in active service and made to undergo trial under the Army Act 1952 by operation of Section 7 of the Army Act.” They referred the cases of Gen. Khalid Muneer Khan, Gen. Muzaffar Afzal and Gen. Khalid Zaheer and others who had retired between 2004 to 2008 from army and facing prosecution under NAB were called into active service under Section 7 of Pakistan Army Act and are now facing trial. However, the Special Court has evaded this issue and it made an attempt to do indirectly what could not be done directly.

The petitioner raised the objection before the Special Court that as far as the offense of high treason is concerned, the parliament is, by law, required to provide for the punishment of the persons found guilty of high treason.

Musharraf contended that the Special Court had bent backward to arrogate authority to itself by sweeping aside provisions of Section 549 Cr. PC which renders the proceedings totally illegal and unlawful.

The petitioner stated it is not a constitutional offence but an offence under the High Treason Punishment Act, 1973, Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act, 1976 is as an ordinary law as the Army Act, 1952, the Criminal Amendment (Special Court) Act, 1976 is not High Treason specific alone.

The decision of 3rd November 2007 for all intends and purposes, was taken by the government of the day. The decision at best and at worst was departure from Article 209 of the Constitution. “The governments many times act in disregard of constitutional provisions and so do the members of judiciary and a government cannot be arraigned by a subsequent government under Article 6 on that account.”