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PM not bound to consult cabinet on forming special court: Akram Sheikh

21 January, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Special Public Prosecutor Akram Sheikh said on Monday the prime minister was not constitutionally bound to consult with the federal cabinet to form the special court.

"We have made a long journey for the rule of law. How could the prime minister reroute the passage as the law is the same for both affluent and common people," Sheikh added.

The three-judge special court, headed by Justice Faisal Arab and comprising Justice Tahira Safdar and Justice Yawar Ali, resumed hearing of the high treason case against former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 of the constitution. During the course of proceedings, the special prosecutor apprised the bench that Rule-16 of Rules of Business clearly defined the rights and duties of cabinet.

He said according to Cabinet Rules of October 27, 2011, it was not necessary for the prime minister to get consent of the cabinet in such matters, especially for trial under Article 6. Sheikh said under Article 2 of the constitution, the prime minister could utilise his powers directly or through his ministers. It was his prerogative provided to him by the constitution, he added.

Under Article 92, the president of Pakistan appoints ministers of state or federal ministers on the advice of the prime minister, so the latter can take decisions individually on such matters, he added.

Raising objections to the public prosecutor's arguments, Anwar Mansoor, counsel for Musharraf, questioned the impartiality of special court as according to newspapers the judges' names for court were forwarded to the prime minister by former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikahr Muhammad Chuadhry, who was directly affected by the imposition of emergency.

He said that if the court wanted to proceed against his client under Article 6, it should also try all those who had violated the constitution.

Mansoor alleged that the prime minister and the former chief justice had animosity with his client, which meant that the formation of special court was biased. Later the bench adjourned the hearing of case until today (Tuesday).

End.

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