Musharraf alone was responsible for imposition of emergency, claims AG

Source: Published in Current Affairs on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The federal government still believes that former President Pervez Musharraf is solely responsible for clamping the Nov 3, 2007, emergency which led to confining of a number of superior court judges in their houses and sacking of another over 100 judges.

The stand was reiterated by Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt before a three-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, hearing an appeal of former Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.

Justice Dogar had challenged the Dec 12, 2015, order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) which upheld the Nov 27, 2015, order of the three-man special court hearing a treason case against former President Pervez Musharraf which had ordered the investigation team concerned to re-investigate the treason case by ‘interrogating’ Musharraf, former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, former minister Zahid Hamid and former chief justice of Pakistan Abdul Hameed Dogar as well as people who could be presumed to be associated with the commission of the alleged crime.

During proceedings, Iftikhar Gillani, who represented Justice Dogar, reminded the Supreme Court about the earlier stance taken by the federal government before the IHC by stating that Musharraf had taken the decision alone of proclaiming the state of emergency on Nov 3.

When the court inquired the AG whether the government still believed so, the AG replied in affirmative.

The court, however, observed that it would determine whether the special court had the authority to order re-investigation of the treason case by interrogating a number of individuals, including Justice Dogar, and recalled that the Supreme Court in its July 31, 2009, judgment had already held that Musharraf was individually responsible for the proclamation of emergency.

The court also declined to issue any order restraining the FIA not to record the evidence of Justice Dogar when the counsel invited the attention of the court towards the fact that his client had been called by the investigating agency for recording of his evidence.

During the proceedings, Advocate Chaudhry Faisal Hussain told the bench that the FIA had recorded the evidence of eight witnesses in its probe.

When Mr Gillani emphasized that none of the witnesses had ever named his client in their deposition, Chaudhry Faisal said that the name of Justice Dogar had been mentioned in one of the evidence.

The court, however, regretted that it had failed to understand the actual meaning of the special court order despite repeated reading.

In his petition, Justice Dogar had argued that after lifting of the emergency and restoration of the constitution on Dec 15, 2007, all judges of the Supreme Court who had taken oath under the PCO (provisional constitution order) took a fresh oath under the constitution.

To allege in the special court order, he emphasised, that Justice Dogar would not have been elevated as the chief justice if he had not consented to the issuance of proclamation of emergency and subsequent provisional constitution order (PCO) of 2007 was not only perverse but tantamount to demeaning the stature of the superior courts of Pakistan.  

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