— Justice Farooq says ex-dictator’s petition could only be heard if he surrenders to court
–Musharraf has requested court to suspend formation of judicial commission that will record his statement in treason case
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday inquired why it should listen to a proclaimed absconder’s petition as it heard a plea filed by former military dictator General (r) Pervez Musharraf in which he had requested the court to issue a stay order against the formation of a judicial commission tasked with recording his statement in a treason case.
Musharraf is being tried for high treason by a special court for imposing emergency in the country on Nov 3, 2007. The court formed a commission on October 15 to be sent to Dubai to record the former army chief’s statement under Section 342 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc). Musharraf went into self-imposed exile in Dubai after leaving Pakistan on the pretext of medical treatment.
As a two-member bench heard his petition in the high court, Musharraf’s counsel argued that the formation of a commission to record the accused’s statement is illegal, as it can only be constitutionally formed to record statements of foreign witnesses.
In response, Justice Amir Farooq inquired if there was any problem stopping Musharraf from returning to the country for he only had to hop on a flight to personally record his statement.
Musharraf’s counsel said that the former president did not face any restrictions, however, he could not return on account of his illness.
“A proclaimed accused’s petition cannot be heard until he has surrendered to the court,” Justice Farooq reminded the counsel. He asked his lawyer to present his arguments in court as to how the petition could be maintainable even though his client is a proclaimed offender.
The case was then adjourned till Nov 19.