An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Wednesday rejected the bail plea of former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf in the judge’s detention case.
ATC special judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi rejected the former president’s bail plea, while noting that the actions taken on November 3, 2007 had caused embarrassment to the country on international level.
Musharraf’s counsel Ilyas Siddiqui requested the court to accept his bail plea, arguing that no detention [of judges] orders were issued by his client during his tenure as president. He said there is no credible evidence against his client, while adding that section 344 of the Pakistan Penal Code Section (wrongful confinement for ten or more days), under which he is being prosecuted, is a bailable offence.
Prosecutor Aamir Nadeem opposed Siddiqui’s argument, responding that the former president had imposed emergency on November 3, 2007 and detained sixty judges including Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. He maintained that former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani later ordered the release of the judges, which indicated that the judges were detained illegally.
Nadeem argued that the accused is facing terrorism charges and the maximum punishment in this case is 10 years, while requesting the court to deny bail for the accused.
The judge asked the prosecutor why he had not submitted a complete challan, to which Nadeem claimed that he was only appointed for arguments and was not authorised to submit a challan.
The police have yet to submit a complete challan in this case as the statements of judges who were detained in November 2007 under the emergency is essential. Earlier, the Secretariat police station house officer (SHO) had approached the Supreme Court registrar but he did not give a positive response.
In April, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court had rejected Musharraf’s bail plea, after which he was arrested and shifted to his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad, after declaring it a sub jail.
Earlier, the main complainant in this case, Advocate Chaudhry Aslam Ghuman, had withdrawn his complaint and disassociated himself from the case, claiming it was in the best interest of the country.
The case is based on a First Information Report (FIR) registered against Musharraf on August 11, 2009 by the Secretariat police for illegally detaining judges.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2013.