SC upholds death penalty of Pervez Musharraf in treason case

ISLAMABAD –   The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday maintained the death penalty for former President General (Retired) Pervez Musharraf in the high-profile treason case.
A SC four-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa passed the order.  Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan, and Justice Atir Mahmood were the other members of the bench.

During the hearing, Hameed Khan, the counsel for the petitioner, argued that Musharraf had filed a criminal appeal against the death penalty, which is a constitutional matter. He emphasized that the petition is against the LHC’s decision to declare the death penalty null and void, which is a constitutional issue. Both appeals should be heard separately.

CJP Isa remarked that in the present case, the jurisdiction and appeal of the Lahore High Court are two distinct matters.
“Initially, we will hear Salman Safdar, the counsel for Pervez Musharraf,” said the top judge.
During the proceedings, the federal government opposed the appeal against Musharraf’s sentence. Chief Justice asked Additional Attorney General Amir Rehman, “Are you opposing Pervez Musharraf’s appeal or supporting it?”  Additional Attorney General replied, “We are opposing Pervez Musharraf’s appeal,”.

Salman Safdar, the counsel for Pervez Musharraf, began presenting arguments against the special court’s sentence.
In response, Chief Justice gave remarks about the absence of heirs of Pervez Musharraf during the hearing, questioning how can they listen to the proceedings when the heirs are not present. He emphasized that decisions should not be made based on assumptions; there should be no closure of doors for the rights of the heirs. How can the court invoke Article 561?
The CJP also asked Salman Safdar, “Do you have any reservations about the Lahore High Court?,”.

Advocate Salman Safdar replied, “The trial judge who was hearing Musharraf’s trial in Lahore High Court does not appear in front of the Supreme Court. I will submit some reports in your chamber about this matter.” Chief Justice responded, “We don’t summon anyone to our chamber,”.
Justice Athar Minallah remarked, “Under Article 12, all individuals involved in the present case against Musharraf have open doors for legal proceedings. In this matter, we will listen to all arguments related to the criminal appeal.” Salman Safdar said, “I appreciate the court’s stance, but Pervez Musharraf’s heirs are not residing in Pakistan at the moment.”
The SC, after hearing all the parties’ arguments, maintained the decision to award the death penalty in Pervez Musharraf’s case, while declaring the Lahore High Court’s decision to suspend the sentence as null and void.

It is noteworthy that during the last hearing, the CJP had remarked that the LHC granted relief to Pervez Musharraf in the treason case without being requested. However, during the hearing on November 21, Justice Athar Minallah had remarked that the decision on Pervez Musharraf’s sentence was present and had not been suspended.