ISLAMABAD - The three-member special court hearing the high treason case against former military ruler General (r) Pervez Musharraf yesterday ordered a re-investigation of the case.

The Special Court also rejected Pervez Musharraf’s appeal to constitute Joint Investigation Team comprising, ISI, IB, MI, FIA and police.

“We are of the view that for conducting an inquiry or investigation into an offence punishable under the High Treason (Punishment) Act 1973, the power is vested in the Federal Investigation Agency under Section 5 (1) of FIA Act 1974,” said the Special Court.

The Special Court, comprising judges of three high courts, was established for the trial of the former army chief under Article 6 of the Constitution. “The observation of the IHC with regard to conducting JIT is not absolute,” the court ruled.

It ordered the investigation team to record afresh the statements of former army chief Pervez Musharraf, ex-Chief Justice of Pakistan Abdul Hameed Dogar, former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and ex-Law Minister Zahid Hamid.

The court said on the basis of fresh statements the investigation team shall be free to form an independent opinion about them in the investigation report. However, it clarified that the job of the team is only to collect evidence and place it before this court.

The team will be empowered to examine the record that is already part of the present proceedings. The team shall be free to examine any official record of the federal government. Earlier, the bench, after hearing the arguments of Musharraf’s counsel and the prosecutor general, reserved the judgment at 11am. Musharraf’s counsel made a request that the JIT comprising FIA, ISI, MI, FBI and police officials should investigate the case. He contended the Islamabad High Court in its order had declared the investigation defective.

The IHC, on the petitions of Shaukat Aziz, Zahid Hamid and Abdul Hameed Dogar, had ordered reinvestigation into the case.

The prosecutor general said the federal government had decided to file a review petition against the IHC judgment.

Farogh Naseem, counsel for Musharraf, said Section 4(2)(2) of FIA Act, 1974, says the federal agency is bound by the police rules. Quoting the apex court judgment on Steel Mills case, he said if one agency does not investigate a case in a fair manner the court has power to assign the investigation to any other agency.

Prosecutor General Akram Sheikh said the statements of Shaukat Aziz, Zahid Hamid and Hameed Dogar will be recorded. He said the FIA will investigate Musharraf and those who had abetted in promulgating emergency in the country.

Pervez Musharraf on 7th November, 2007, not only imposed emergency but also promulgated Provisional Constitutional Order while the judges of the superior courts were asked to take fresh oath under the PCO.

The prosecutor general said the investigation report will be submitted before the federal government which will not hide anything. He said there are certain errors floating on the face of the judgment of the IHC. He said as soon as the review petition is finalised, the investigation team will be constituted.

Justice Faisal Arab observed the IHC judgment did not say anything about the constitution of JIT, but it had ordered reinvestigation. The judge also said from the arguments of both the counsels it seemed the IHC judgment was confusing. Akram Sheikh said a defective investigation means no investigation has been concluded.

The Special Court, in its order on March 7, 2014, ruled that only the FIA should investigate the case. Justice Faisal said the apex court judgment in the Sindh High Court Bar Association case is binding on everyone. Sheikh said it is an offence against the Constitution, so the federal government has no authority to waive the case.