SC moved against Gen Kayani, Gen Tariq
ISLAMABAD: A contempt of court petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday, seeking initiation of court proceedings against 21 top functionaries of the Musharraf led government, including the latter, for violating the apex court’s November 3, 2007 order.
The petition was filed by Rana Muhammad Azeem of Lahore, through advocate Aftab Ahmed Bajwa, under Article 184(3), read with Article 204 of the Constitution, making top 21 military and civilian functionaries of the Musharraf led government, who held top public offices when the emergency was clamped on November 3, 2007, as respondents.
The respondents include the Federal Government through the Cabinet Division; Shaukat Aziz, the former Prime Minister; former Governor, Punjab, Lt Gen (retd) Khalid Maqbool; Governor, Sindh, Dr Ishratul Ibad; Governor KP, Awais Ahmed Ghani; Governor Balochistan, Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi; Lt Gen (retd) Tariq Majeed, former chairman JCSC; Lt Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, then Vice Chief of Army Staff; Lt Gen Salahuddin Satti, Chief of General Staff; Lt Gen Nadeem Taj, DG, ISI; Lt Gen Waseem Ahmed Ashraf, Corps Commander XXX Gujranwala; Lt Gen Muhammad Masud Aslam, Corps Commander XI Peshawar; Lt Gen Shafatullah Shah, Corps Commander IV Corps Lahore; Lt Gen Sikandar Afzal, Corps Commander II Corps Multan; Lt Gen Sajjad Akram, Corps Commander, I Corps, Mangla; Lt Gen Khalid Shamim Wyne, Corps Commander XII Corps Quetta; Lt Gen Mohsin Kamal, Corps Commander X Corps Rawalpindi; Lt Gen Javaid Zia, Corps Commander V Corps Karachi; Lt Gen Raza Muhammad Khan, Corps Commander XXXI Corps Bahawalpur; and Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, Chief of Army Staff.
The petitioner prayed the court to summon the respondents, prosecute and punish them for committing contempt of court by violating the apex court’s November 3, 2007 order. He further prayed the court to equally treat all the contemners of order to safeguard the principles of equality before the law.
He submitted it had been held by a 14-member larger bench of the Supreme Court that therespondents had breached the Constitution and violated the apex court’s Nov 3, 2007 order, thus on the same ground alone, the respondents are liable for action under the provisions of Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003.
A seven-member Supreme Court bench, in its order of Nov 3, 2007, had restrained all the constitutional functionaries — the Government of Pakistan, the then president, then prime minister, former Army chief, corps commanders and sitting judges of the superior courts — from indulging into any unconstitutional step under the Nov 3, 2007, emergency and its subsequent actions.
The petitioner said the contempt of court proceedings had already been initiated against the superior courts’ judges, who had taken oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order of November 3, 2007, thus the respondents being the principal accused are also liable for the same action as a solitary action against one set of accused will result into undercutting the authority and independence of judiciary and will give rise to the public perception that the respondents are above the law and the Constitution and cannot be punished for subversion of the Constitution.
“It is a settled law that all the abettors are to be tried with or after the principal accused and the criminal action against joint offenders is required under the law to be taken jointly,” the petitioner added.
He said the criminal dispensation of justice requires that proceedings for joint offenders must be taken together against all the accused persons. Citing various judgments of the Supreme Court, he said it is a settled law that all the persons involved in the commission or omission of similar facts are to be considered as similarly situated. He said the law requires that people charged of the similar offence during the same transaction or transactions are to be jointly tried. He said such rule of law, practice and procedure are derived from the principles of equality and the similar views have been expressed by the apex court in its various verdicts.