Former military ruler General (r) Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday was sentenced to death by a special court hearing the high treason case against him.

The case was reigstered against the ex-dictator for imposing a state of emergency on November 3, 2007, by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in 2013 under Article 6 of the counstitution.

Here is what Article 6 says:

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“Any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in abeyance, the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.”

The second clause of the article maintains that any person aiding, abetting or collaborating in the acts will also be considered guilty of high treason; while clause 2A states that an act of high treason cannot be validated by any court, including the Supreme Court (SC) and a high court.

The last clause directs the parliament to provide for the punishment of persons found guilty of high treason, and according to the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973, the punishment is death or lifetime imprisonment.

STATE OF EMERGENCY:

On November 3, 2007, the then president and chief of army staff (COAS) Musharraf issued a proclamation of emergency, which held the constitution in a state of temporary suspension.

While he later resigned as army chief 25 days into the emergency on November 28, the state of emergency and its responses are generally attributed to the controversies surrounding his re-election during the presidential election on October 6, 2007, including his holding of both offices of president and COAS at the time.

Coming to power six years later, Nawaz Sharif had announced putting the former military ruler on trial for treason, saying the former president had committed treason by abrogating the constitution and should be tried under the law.