Islamabad: Spelling further trouble for military ruler Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's Supreme Court today ruled that only he should be tried on the charge of treason for subverting the Constitution in 2007.
The apex court accepted former chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar's appeal to exclude him from the investigation into the treason case launched against 72-year-old Musharraf in 2013 for imposing emergency in 2007 when he was president.
It removed the names of three persons from the list of accused.
A three-member special court trying Musharraf on November 27, 2015 had directed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to re-investigate the case by including ex-prime minister Shaukat Aziz, former minister Zahid Hamid and ex-chief justice Dogar.
Dogar had challenged his inclusion in Islamabad High Court, which on December 12, 2015 rejected the plea. But he again challenged it in the Supreme Court which annulled a special court's decision to include the new names in the trial.
It said that the special court trying Musharraf had no jurisdiction to associate any individual with the high treason probe.
“A fresh investigation into the said offence by associating any person with the same lies within the prerogative of the Federal Government,” Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said in the judgment.
The court also asked the three-member panel trying Musharraf to complete the trial as early as possible.
High treason is punishable with death if proved. Musharraf has pleaded non-guilty.
Musharraf was indicted in April 2014 but since then no progress has been made in the case for various reasons.
He grabbed power in 1999 by deposing then prime minister Nawaz Sharif and ruled till 2008 when he was forced to resign.
Facing impeachment following elections in 2008, Musharraf went into self-imposed exile in Dubai. The ex-army chief is facing a slew of court cases after returning from five years of self-exile in Dubai to contest the general elections in 2013 which he lost.
Musharraf now lives in Karachi with his daughter. He is not allowed to leave the country under an order by the court.
Musharraf has also been charged in connection with the 2007 assassination of prime minister Benazir Bhutto and the killing of a radical cleric in Islamabad in a military crackdown.
Musharraf, who was recently admitted to a hospital, yesterday moved an application in the Supreme Court to let him go abroad for treatment.