ISLAMABAD - A division bench of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday referred an Intra-Court Appeal (ICA) of Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf against the constitution of a special court for his trial under Article 6, to IHC Chief Justice after his counsel raised objection over the bench.
After the objections of Musharraf's counsel, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of IHC detached himself from the matter and the DB sent the matter to the chief justice of IHC. During the hearing, Ahmad Raza Kasuri Advocate contended before the division bench comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi that the judiciary is biased against his client.
Responding to the arguments, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui said that the same judiciary gave relief to Musharraf and accepted his bail applications in judges' detention case and it was he who dismissed an application of the Shohada Foundation of Pakistan Trust whereby it sought to stop Musharraf from proceeding abroad. Justice Siddiqui further said that they would distance themselves from the bench if the petitioner does not have trust in this court.
Later, the division bench referred the matter to the court of chief justice of IHC. At this juncture, Justice Siddiqui said that they are only answerable to Allah.
Earlier, Pervez Musharraf had filed the ICA before the IHC on December 31 challenging constitution of the special court for his trial. In this regard, an IHC single bench comprising Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan had dismissed three petitions of Gen Musharraf on December 23, 2013 where he had challenged his trial by a special court instead of a military court, constitution of the special court and appointment of prosecutor in his matter.
While dismissing the petitions, Justice Riaz had observed, "The contention of legal counsel for Pervez Musharraf is not correct for the reason that the petitioner is being tried for the offence committed under Article 6 of the constitution. Since the constitution has overriding effect over all the other laws including the Pakistan Army Act, therefore the prayer of the petitioner be tried under the Army Act is not correct."
In his ICA, Musharraf adopted that he should be treated at par with other identically placed: "Of recent General Khalid Gul Khan, General Muzaffar Afzal and General Khalid Zaheer held offices of director general NLC on being found involved in misappropriation they were sought to be tried by National Accountability Bureau (NAB). They stood retired but the army intervened and restored their ranks even so as to render the triable before the court martial."
Musharraf said that the army did not let its officers to be tried by the NAB as they had committed the offences at the time when they were on the roll of the army. Federal government at the request of army then referred the matter to army and these generals now under trial by the field general court martial (FGCM).
The former president said that the special court constituted for his trial lack jurisdiction. He prayed to the court to refer his matter to the military court for trial. He said that fair trial is his fundamental right and he should treated in a manner to the under trial army generals in NLC scam.
The appellant adopted that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had some personal grudges against him and they played active role in the establishment of special court and appointment of three members bench comprising Justice Faisal Arab of Sindh High Court (SHC), Justice Tahira Safdar of Balochistan High Court (BHC) and Justice Yawar Ali of Lahore High Court (LHC).
Meanwhile Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan of the IHC also dismissed Musharraf's application that he filed against an order of the special court dated January 10, directing him to personally appear. Declaring it non-maintainable, Justice Riaz dismissed the petition.