ISLAMABAD - A three-judge bench special court hearing the treason trial against former military dictator General (r) Pervez Musharraf for holding in abeyance the Constitution on Wednesday reserved its judgment on the applicability of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc) till Friday (tomorrow).
The special court will also pass an order on medical report of the former president and chief of army staff today (Thursday).
The registrar special court on Tuesday had presented a report before the court stating that the 70-year-old former military strongman was suffering from calcium deposits in his coronary artery, mental stress, frozen shoulder, excess cholesterol in the bloodstream, prostate enlargement, and spinal and bone pain.
During the proceeding on Wednesday the Court after hearing the arguments of lead prosecutor Akram Sheikh reserved the judgment on the applicability of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc) in the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act 1976, and decided to announce it on Friday.
Justice Faisal Arab, after coming back from the tea break, asked Anwar Mansoor, lead defence counsel to argue his applications, which also had challenged the jurisdiction of the special court to hear high treason.
The learned counsel urged the court to first decide his plea on applicability of CrPc, because if the court says that the order for establishment of special court under CrPc was defective then the proceedings before this court would also be defective. He further said that if the court declared that the CrPc was not applicable then the petitioner would have to approach other forum, as the complaint had been filed under CrPc.
Dr Khalid Ranjha contended that the Section 549 read with Section 65 of the Code of Criminal Procedure had the special provision of Army Act, while the Army Act also mentioned high treason under Article 6 of the Constitution. He said in past cases of high treason were initiated against Wali Khan, Maleeha Lodhi and others but those remained inconclusive.
Dr Tariq Hassan, a prosecutor, stated that the court had jurisdiction under Section 3 (3) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1976 to start proceedings against former military dictator under high treason charges. He also said there was a well-recognised principle all over the world that the court before which a case was filed had to determine its jurisdiction, adding no parallel proceedings were going on in the military court.
Earlier, Akram Sheikh, Special Public Prosecutor, arguing on the maintainability of the CrPC said that under the special law, the criminal proceedings were implementable in the case. In support of his arguments, he cited several judgments under which the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act, 1976 applied to the proceedings of special court.
Drawing a comparison between the general and special laws, Mr Akram Sheikh stated that in the absence of special laws, general laws would cover the vacuum.
Justice Faisal Arab inquired from the prosecutor to give his opinion whether the special court had powers to grant bail to an accused or not, to which, Akram Sheikh stated that the special court shall have powers, except those of the high court.Anwar Mansoor, lawyer for Musharraf, also appeared before the court and stated that he had been categorically stating that proceedings were not criminal, rather constitutional in nature.
Agencies add: The hearing of the treason trial against Musharraf was adjourned till today (Thursday).
Advocate Akram Sheikh advanced his arguments before the court in which he stated that the Supreme Court had already issued a ruling according to which all crimes under the Army Act fell within the domain of Pakistan Penal Code.
Barrister Akram Sheikh said there was no flaw or weakness in the formation of the special court.
Musharraf’s lawyer, Anwar Mansoor, said according to Section 13 of the Special Court Act, criminal code could not be applied to it.
The bench headed by Justice Faisal Arab resumed the hearing earlier on Wednesday amid a scuffle between media persons and security personnel at the entrance of the special court established in the federal capital.
As the hearing was to begin, police and Rangers deployed in National Library stopped media persons from covering the proceedings and said mediamen were not allowed to enter the court.
On this, media persons asked about any written order in this regard. This sparked fury amongst security personnel and they started manhandling the journalists snatching their mobile phones.
Journalists staged protest outside the court against the behavior of security personnel.
Registrar special court solving the issue between both parties gave permission to journalists to enter the court.Commenting on the incident, Ahmed Raza Kasuri said preventing journalists from performing their professional duties was tantamount to imposing restrictions on media.
Kasuri said government was afraid of media and the way it behaved with journalists was condemnable.
Meanwhile, treatment of the left shoulder and neck of former president Pervez Musharraf started at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) on Wednesday. Reports said the former president underwent therapy of left shoulder while no decision was made yet for his angiography. He is taking medicines for heart and other diseases, the doctors said.