The Supreme Court in Pakistan on Thursday dismissed a review petition challenging its earlier order which held that former President Pervez Musharraf's proclamation of Emergency on November 3, 2007, was unconstitutional and void and which declared him a usurper of power.
A full 14-member bench of the apex court headed by chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani heard the case for three days before deciding to turn down the petition on grounds that it was time barred and should have been filed within 30 days of the order on July 31, 2009.
The court found no merit in the case and had repeatedly ticked off the lawyers for Musharraf for irrelevant arguments. Faisal Hussain advocate in the team of lawyers led by Sharifuddin Pirzada for Musharraf, said that the Supreme Court did not find this case appropriate for review like they did when they entertained Mr. Nawaz Sharif's case after eight years.
The review petition filed last December, said that the findings of the Supreme court order in the Sindh High Court Bar Association case were prejudicial to the special court which was trying Musharraf for high treason.
The former President was never heard or represented in court, Mr. Hussain pointed out. It was illegal and against the principles of natural justice to pass orders without hearing a person and a violation of federal law.
Basically the review petition wanted the apex court to revisit its own judgement. The apex court lost its chance to redress its part mistakes, Musharraf's lawyers said.
While arguing the case, Mr. Pirzada called on judges to be impartial and submitted that courts should not interfere in federal government matters.
The review petition also stated that then Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had written a letter recommending imposition of Emergency.
On July 31, 2009, a 14 judge bench of the apex court headed by chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had declared as unconstitutional the proclamation of emergency and other instruments and measures promulgated by Musharraf on November 3, 2007.
It held that the Constitution could not be suspended for a single moment in a manner not authorized by the Constitution itself and it also declared all amendments in the Constitution and other statutes passed by Musharraf as unconstitutional.
High treason case
Meanwhile in the special court trying Musharraf for high treason, prosecutor Akram Sheikh trashed the medical board report from the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology(AFIC) saying that no new evaluation was performed and there was no material evidence produced on the health of the former President. When a man cannot come to the court for 15 minutes how can he fly to the USA for 18 hours? he asked.
He asked the court to summon the president of the medical board which submitted the report "which was not worth paper it was printed on."
Calling for the rejection of the medical report, he said the AFIC was in contempt of court since they had not taken a second look at Musharraf, or answered the questions that the court had directed them to. Mr. Sheikh said the desire of the accused cannot be the basis of the medical report. Musharraf didn't have faith in his own institution and wanted to go abroad for treatment, he submitted. If there is any facility he wants, it can be imported, Mr. Sheikh offered.