Musharraf challenges Pakistan SC Registrar's refusal to entertain his appeal against conviction

Musharraf challenges Pakistan SC Registrars refusal to entertain his appeal against conviction

Musharraf filed the petition against the special court's decision despite his death penalty was quashed by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on January 13.

Islamabad: Pakistan's self-exiled former dictator Pervez Musharraf on Thursday challenged the Supreme Court Registrar's decision of refusing to entertain his appeal against the special court sentencing him to death for high treason, according to a media report.

Musharraf filed the petition against the special court's decision despite his death penalty was quashed by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on January 13, the Express Tribune reported.

The special court in Islamabad on December 17 last handed down the death penalty to the 74-year-old retired general, now based in Dubai, after six years of hearing a high-profile treason case against him.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had filed the treason case against the former army chief in 2013 over the imposition of an extra-constitutional emergency in November 2007, which led to the confinement of a number of superior court judges in their houses and sacking of over 100 judges.

However, last month Musharraf's trial in the high treason case was declared as "unconstitutional" by the LHC, leading to the annulment of the death sentence against the former president.

The LHC declared that the formation of the special court was "unconstitutional" and that the treason case against Musharraf was not prepared in accordance with the law.

Despite the LHC's decision, Musharraf filed a petition in the Supreme Court against his conviction by the special court, which was refused by the apex court's Registrar to be entertained, raising an objection under Supreme Court Rules 1980 that says a convict has to surrender to the authorities before filing an appeal, the paper reported.

Musharraf's appeal on Thursday mentioned that his health has declined significantly that requires specialised treatment abroad.

He also mentioned that he was given permission and approval by the court to leave the country on medical grounds, the paper reported.

Former president's attorney Salman Safdar, while filing the appeal, stated that the requirement of surrendering Musharraf is not applicable owing to his health condition.

It also mentioned that the former military dictator tried to return to Pakistan but was unable to because of his deteriorating health.

"It mentioned that Musharraf is neither a 'fugitive from the law', nor is he a 'proclaimed offender' or 'absconder' particularly because he left Pakistan for medical treatment, with permission of the complainant," the report quoted Musharraf's petition as saying.

An attorney for the former military ruler confirmed the development, saying that his client can appeal against the Registrar office's decision within 30 days, the paper reported.

Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, was the first military dictator convicted for subverting the Constitution.

The former military ruler, who has been living in Dubai since March 2016, left Pakistan for medical treatment and has not returned since, citing security and health reasons.

According to Pakistani media reports, Musharraf suffers from amyloidosis, a rare disease caused by the build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues in the body.

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