ISLAMABAD - The Special Court may issue arrest warrant of former President and Chief of Army Staff General (retd) Pervez in case he does not appear before the court today.
Since the trial has begun the court has thrice summoned the former military dictator but he on excuses of severe threats to his life and the medical ground has not appeared so far before the court.
The Special Court on January 9 rejecting the medical report had issued another summon for Musharraf appearance before the court today. So far no application has been filed before the Court for Musharraf’s exemption in the court on the medical ground. “The medical report does not suggest that the accused (Musharraf) in his present state of health is unable to attend the Court, nor any material was placed on record to justify his inability to appear.”
Musharraf appearance depends on the advice of the doctors, where Pervez Musharraf is admitted since 2nd January. Siddique Mirza, one of the defence counsels, told The Nation; “His client wants to appear before the court but it entirely depends on the advice of the doctors as his medical check-ups are done regularly.” He hinted that the doctors may advise him not to appear in view of his health condition.
Akram Sheikh, the lead Public Prosecutor, in the last hearing had argued that the former dictator was not confined to bed or in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), adding in the last five days, since the alleged heart attack, no angiography of Musharraf, According to the reports no angiography is done so far.
The hurdle for issuance of non-bailable arrest warrant of 70-year-old former military strongman, in case he doesn’t appear, has also been removed as the court declared that the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc) applies on the present proceedings.
Sardar Ishaq, a top criminal lawyer, says there is a chapter in the CrPc that if a person does not appear then the court could issue summon and if besides that he does not appear then it could issue arrest warrant and if that does not happen then it could declare the accused proclaimed offender.
The court had declared that it has power to conduct trial, issue arrest warrant of the accused and frame high treason charges. So far the Court had exercised restraint arrest warrant as, the accused is the former President of Pakistan and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). The Court on January 9 rejecting medical report passed the order for appearance of Musharraf on 16-01-2014, saying the accused has failed to obey and comply the order of this court. His lawyers submitted an application for stay against January 9 order, which was turned down on the premise that it has no authority of reviewing its own orders.
No appeal could be filed against the Special Court orders as the section 12 (2) of the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act (CLAA) 1976 says; “No order, judgment or sentence of the Special Court shall be called in question in any manner whatsoever in or before any court or other authority.” The sub-section 3 of the same section says; “Any party aggrieved by the final judgment of the Special Court may prefer an appeal to the Supreme Court within thirty days of the passing of the judgment.”