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November 27, 2020

Contempt case: PHC summons Farogh, Fawad, Shahzad, Firdous

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November 27, 2020

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday summoned the four federal cabinet members who had addressed a press conference after the verdict of the special court that had awarded death sentence to former president General (R) Pervez Musharraf in a high treason case. A three-member bench of the special court in Islamabad, headed by the then PHC chief justice, Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and comprising Justice Nazar Akbar of the Sindh High Court and Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC had convicted Musharraf and awarded him death sentence after finding him guilty of high treason on December 17 last year. Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth died recently due to COVID-19.

The three-member special court was constituted by the federal government under the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act, 1976, for trying Musharraf under the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973.

A PHC division bench comprising Justice Roohul Amin and Justice Ijaz Anwar on Thursday directed that the ministers who had committed contempt of court should appear before it after which their lawyers will be heard.

Lawyers Malik Mohammad Ajmal and Azizuddin Kakakhel had filed a writ petition in the PHC that federal cabinet members Farough Nasim, Fawad Chaudhry, Firdous Ashiq Awan and Shahzad Akbar had addressed a press conference after the verdict of the special court against the former military ruler.

The petitioners believed that the ministers made comments about the verdict that amounted to contempt of court.

The division bench directed that those who had committed contempt of court must appear before it at the next hearing of the case.

The deputy attorney general Mohammad Habib Qureshi told the court that they had appeared on behalf of the cabinet members.

However, the court directed the ministers to appear in person after which their lawyers could make arguments about the case.

Meanwhile, another bench of the PHC comprising Acting Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid and Justice Nasir Mahfooz directed the authorities to provide health facilities to those convicted by the military courts and arrange their meetings with families regularly.

Additional advocate general Sikandar Hayat Shah told the court that medical facilities were provided to the convicts, but their families were not being allowed to meet them due to security reasons.