Criminal laws to be applied where necessary in Musharraf case: court

Criminal laws to be applied where necessary in Musharraf case: court

mushrafISLAMABAD: The Special Court set up to try former president general (retd) Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 of the constitution has stated in its order that criminal laws will be applied to the case.

The order said the court could issue arrest warrants of Musharaf for summoning him in court.

Meanwhile, Special Court has dismissed plea seeking stay order against its own verdict issued on Thursday to summon Musharraf on 16 January. Special court in its verdict said it could not review its own judgments. The court adjourned further proceedings of treason case against Parvez Musharraf till 16th January. The first verdict was read out by Justice Faisal Arab and second verdict was read out by registrar special court Abdul Ghani Soomro.

The three-member court headed by Justice Faisal Arab conducted hearing of the case plea filed by counsel of Parvez Musharraf, Anwar Mansoor Khan against the orders of the special court for summoning Musharaf on 16th January for indictment.

Anwar Mansoor argued that the court should deliver verdict on the formation of special court and other pleas of Musharraf prior to summoning his client. He said if Musharraf appears before court then it would be considered that Musharraf has accepted the formation of court.

Anwar Mansoor requested the court to issue stay order over the matter of summoning of Musharraf on 16th January. Anwar Mansoor said that the notification of the formation of special court was not issued according to law. He said this notification has not been issued by the president.

Meanwhile, Prosecutor Akram Sheikh Advocate while presenting arguments said the application of lawyers of Musharraf against issuance of summons was not based on merit, adding that the trial court has not the right to review its own orders, adding that the only final judgment of the case could be challenged in Supreme Court for review. He said during the trial the special court has authority to reject any of the application.

He said Prime minister directly or through minister could issue the notification under article 90 of the Constitution.

Justice Faisal Arab said that the court could not decide the matter in six or seven days, adding that the case could be prolonged. He said the accused has received the summons but no application has been submitted for exemption from appearing in court by accused. He said if Musharraf would seek exemption from appearance after appearing in court then court would consider the plea.

The court after concluding hearing had reserved judgment and was announced at 12:40 pm. While delivering verdict in Federal Shariat Court registrar special court Abdul Ghani Soomro said the court while accepting the arguments of Akram Sheikh has rejected the plea of Musharraf. The verdict said that the court has not powers to review its own decisions.

The court ruled that it cannot change its decision as Musharraf has already been summoned on 16 January. It observed a decision can be changed only if there is a typing mistake.

Earlier, the Special Court issued its decision over court’s authority pertaining to the criminal procedure code, ruling that the law will be enforced wherever necessary.

The court ruled that high treason case against Musharraf will be heard under the penal code under which the court is entitled to order arrestment of the accused.

Justice Faisal Arab, head of the three-judge bench, read out the operational part of the brief verdict which was reserved on Wednesday. He later adjourned the court till Jan 16.

Earlier, the special court ordered the retired general to appear before the bench on January 16. The court stated that the bench will issue further orders if Musharraf fails to appear before the bench.

The bench said the medical report hasn’t stated that Musharraf suffered heart attack, adding that Musharraf had already been granted exemption thrice.

Earlier, the court on January 8 after hearing both the parties had reserved the decision on whether it should start proceedings under Cr. P.C. or frame its own rules to try the former army chief.

Prosecutor Akram Sheikh while arguing on January 8 had asserted that Cr.P.C. applies under special laws in this case, adding special court law was not flawed and if found lacking at any stage then the general and state laws would apply.

From the petitions and reservations of the defence lawyers, it seemed that the special court holds no power and its working perimeter was very limited, Akram Sheilkh pointed out to the court. Akram Sheikh also cited different cases in support of his arguments.

Pervez Musharraf’s lawyer Anwar Mansoor argued that the special court section 13 says Cr. P.C. would not apply in treason trial. Another member of the defence legal team, Dr. Khalid Ranjha said that Pervez Musharraf could be tried only in the military court, as any other court was not authorised to try him.

Later, the court had reserved its decision on whether Cr. P.C. will apply or not.

The 70-year-old former president was rushed to a military hospital on Thursday after falling ill while being taken to hear treason charges against him at the tribunal in Islamabad.

Musharraf s camp says the treason allegations, which relate to his imposition of emergency rule on November 03, 2007, are politically motivated and his lawyers have challenged the authority of the tribunal.

He is nowadays under treatment in Rawalpindi’s military hospital for heart problem, but has been ordered by the court to appear before it on Jan 16.

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