ISLAMABAD: On Thursday, the special court released the detailed judgment of the high treason case against the former army chief and president General Musharraf.
The former president was handed over death sentence under article 6 of the Constitution in a high treason case registered against him. General Musharraf was tried in absentia for high treason, The Express Tribune reported.
The bench that was headed by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth comprised of Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court (LHC).
The 167-pages long verdict was written by Justice Waqar Seth. While, Justice Karim and Justice Seth agreed on the basis of evidence presented – that Musharraf is guilty of committing crime. However, Justice Akbar wrote a dissenting note. The verdict was split 2-1, The Express Tribune reported.
According to the verdict, “as a necessary corollary to what has been observed we find the accused guilty as per charge. The convict be therefore hanged by his neck till he dies on each count as per charge”.
“We direct the Law Enforcement Agencies to strive their level best to apprehend the fugitive/convict to ensure that the punishment is inflicted as per law and if found dead, his corpse be dragged to the D-Chowk, Islamabad, Pakistan and be hanged for 03 days,” the detailed verdict states.
Justice Karim, while supporting Justice Seth’s judgement, opposed the dragging and hanging of Musharraf’s body at Islamabad’s D-Chowk. He said that a death sentence was sufficient, The Express Tribune reported.
“I dissent with the President […..] it has no basis in law and will be ultra vires for this court to do so. In my opinion, it is enough to sentence the accused to death,” said Justice Karim.
“Indeed, this portion of the judgement and execution of the sentence is nowhere defined but since it is first impression case and the sentence of death is announced in his absence after declaring the convict as proclaimed offender therefore the sentence is supposed to be executed and in case of his death a sentence, to this extent para 65 prescribes the mode of execution.”
“The accused facing trial… has persistently and stubbornly strived ever since the commencement of this trial, to delay, retract and in fact evade it. It has been his plea throughout that either on account of ill health or for security hazards he could not reach up to this Court to face trial,” added the judgment.
‘Equally and fully involved’
“It is patent by the act and conduct of the accused facing trial, that he has persistently and stubbornly strived ever since the commencement of this trial, to delay, retract and in fact evade it. It has been his plea throughout that either on account of ill health or for security hazards he could not reach up to this Court to face trial,” said the judgment.
“The then Corps Commanders Committee in addition to all other uniformed officers who were guarding him each and every time, with boots on, are equally and fully involved in the act and deeds of the accused person.”
“The trial of high treason is the requirement of the Constitution against those individuals who undermine or attempt to undermine the Constitution by any means. This court after presentation of undeniable, irrefutable and unimpeachable evidence by the prosecution against the accused reaches to the conclusion that indeed the accused is guilty and deserves exemplary punishment.”
Excerpts of Dissenting note by Justice Akbar
According to The Express Tribune, Justice Akbar, in his dissenting note, said he happens to dissent with the majority view held by the other members of the bench.
“In the offence under Article 6 of the Constitution, the charging word is ‘high treason’, therefore, without properly appreciating what does it mean, this court cannot pass a just and fair verdict.”
“But for this reason, both the learned counsel for the prosecution and my learned brothers have referred to the definition of ‘high treason’ by relying on the meaning of ‘high treason’ given in the Oxford Dictionary (Tenth Edition).
“[Counsel] has failed to appreciate that on the date of offence except ‘abrogate’ and ‘subvert’ no other act of any person was considered as an office under Article 6 of the Constitution. Only the act of ‘abrogation’ and ‘subversion’ of Constitution was considered as an act of high treason. The words ‘suspension’ and ‘abeyance’ were not used in the language of Article 6 of the Constitution until 20.4.2010 when [they] were introduced through the 18th Amendment almost after two and a half year to the date of alleged offence of high treason.”
Keep the record inclusive of the case properties under lock and key with the registrar of the court till further orders, the detailed verdict ordered.