By Sohail Khan
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that it would implement the Article 6 of the Constitution in the Pervez Musharraf treason case even if the sky falls.
The grim ruling came during the hearing of a set of identical petitions by a three-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Jawad S. Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan.
The petitions seek the trial of former President Gen. (retd) Pervez Musharraf for high treason for abrogating the Constitution.The apex court observed that hearing into the instant case would not be a futile exercise but would be decided in accordance with the law.
“There is no question of futility and the case would be decided in accordance with the law,” remarked Justice Khawaja while responding to Musharraf’s counsel Ahmed Raza Kasuri.
He further remarked that under the law, Secretary Ministry of Interior had to lodge a complaint against Musharraf under the Article 6 of Constitution read with High Treason (Punishment) Act 1973 for subverting or abrogating the Constitution.
Justice Khilji Arif Hussain remarked that if those responsible for fulfilling their responsibilities failed, the court would do it accordingly.
Kasuri sought an adjournment of the case, saying that Attorney General Irfan Qadir had already submitted a statement stating that the interim government was not interested in prosecuting the former military dictator.
He further contended that now was the time to ascertain the view of the newly-elected government in the instant case and it should be adjourned otherwise it would be a futile exercise.
“If Article 6 was needed in the instant case, we would consider it accordingly,” Justice Khawaja observed, adding that it was also his view that deterrence against military intervention would come with the implementation of Article 6 of the Constitution.
“If the authorities concerned did not fulfill their responsibility, then the court will do its job,” Justice Khilji Arif Hussain remarked. “When you will read our order, you will be satisfied,” he told Ahmed Raza Kasuri.
Earlier, concluding his arguments, A. K. Dogar, the counsel for one of the petitioners, submitted that the Constitution was subverted and abrogated many times but no action was taken against the usurper.
He said neither the court nor the federal government could ignore the 14-member judgment to constitute a special court for the trial of Musharraf. His view was that the special court should be constituted for 4 to 5 years.
He contended that even former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was an elected prime minister but he too stepped into the shoes of General Yahya Khan and later became a civilian martial law administrator which was the root-cause of the fault.
“We have greatly suffered from this disease of cancer from military intervention,” Dogar contended, adding that the PML-Q, while supporting the former military dictator, had categorically stated that Musharraf would be the president of the country 10 times.
“If such are the politicians, then what would be the fate of this country. These politicians were responsible for the military intervention,” Dogar submitted.
Justice Ejaz Afzal asked Dogar if those who subverted or abrogated the Constitution from 1956 and not 1999 should be tried under Article 12 (2) of the Constitution. Dogar replied if the case was not heard just because of fear that it would open a Pandora’s box, then it would not be the right decision. “Let the law take its own course,” he pleaded.
The court adjourned the hearing for June 24.