By: Khudayar Mohla
A Special Court trying former army chief and President Pervez Musharraf in a high treason case on Tuesday issued non-bailable arrest warrants for him for his failure to appear before the court.
A 3-member Special Court headed by Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel resumed the hearing of the federation’s plea against Musharraf for imposing emergency rule on November 3, 2007 in the country.
Announcing its 9-page verdict, the court issued directives to the Director General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to ensure execution of non-bailable arrest warrants for the accused for May 11, 2016.
“Since the accused has failed to appear before the court despite repeated notices, non-bailable arrest warrants be issued against him executable through Director General, FIA, Islamabad for the next date of hearing, who shall ensure the execution of the same and in case of non-execution of the warrants, the executing officer should appear before the court along with his proof of search for the accused, on the date fixed,” the order said.
The court also forfeited surety bond of Rs 2.5 million filed by former General Rashid Qureshi who had furnished a surety for Musharraf’s presence in the court.
Through a separate order sheet, the court issued notice to Rashid Qureshi under Section 514 of the CrPC, “Whereas on February 1, 2014, you stood for accused General retd Pervez Musharraf for the offence of High Treason under Article 6 of the Constitution that he should appear before this court on each date of hearing and also bound yourself that in default thereof to forfeit the sum of Rs 2.5 million in favour of the state”.
The order further said, “Since the said accused General retd Pervez Musharraf has failed to appear before this court on March 31, 2016 as well as on April 19, 2016 and you also failed to produce him before this court on that date and on April 19, 2016, and by the reason of such default, your bond stands forfeited”.
The court issued directives to Qureshi to pay the said penalty or show cause within a period of 15 days from April 19, 2016 explain why payment of the said bail bond amount of Rs 2.5 million should not be enforced against him.
During the course of proceedings, the counsel appearing on behalf of the surety-applicant submitted that he stood surety on humanitarian ground and not for any monitary benefit coupled with the fact that he has no control over the accused to make him appear before the court To which Muhammad Akram Sheikh, Prosecutor in the case, rebutted his arguments for the surety-applicant in the light of the order dated March 31, 2014, that the applicant-surety by his own sweet will became a surety and undertook that the accused will appear as and when directed by the court.
After hearing arguments of both sides, the court ruled that the prayer and request of substitution of surety can be made provided the surety produces the accused along with his application for substitution.
“Since the accused was neither present on the previous date March 31, 2016 nor on April 19, 2016, his request for substitution cannot be considered, at least, at his stage of the case, hence the plea is dismissed,” the court ruled.
The bench also dismissed plea of Pervez Musharraf seeking exemption from personal appearance from the court on April 19, 2016, saying that in the given circumstances, his plea is not maintainable, hence, dismissed.
The bench issued directives to Secretary Ministry of Interior to submit his reply with his own affidavit within seven days positively, asking him to appear in person before the court on the next date of hearing.
Meanwhile, the bench ruled that requisite replies in the light of order dated March 31, 2016, submitted by Muhammad Akram Sheikh, Head of the Prosecution team and also by Faisal Hussain Chaudhry, the defence counsel, would be considered on the next date of hearing. The hearing of case was adjourned till May 11, 2016.
Source: Business Recorder