New Delhi, Dec 9: The Anti-terrorism court (ATC) of Pakistan has given one month’s time to former president Gen Pervez Musharraf to surrender in the judges’ detention case, reported Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.
The Pakistan ATC warned the former dictator that failing the compliance within the prescribed deadline, he would be declared a ‘proclaimed offender’. After directing to the counsel for Gen Musharraf to produce his client before the court, ATC Judge Sohail Ikram adjourned the proceedings to January 13.
It may be recalled that Gen Musharraf had detained as many as 60 judges of superior courts for over five months and stopped them from administering justice. The judges, including former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, were detained after the proclamation of an emergency in the country.
According to Dawn, the judges’ detention case was registered by the Secretariat police on Aug 11, 2009, on the complaint of Advocate Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam against the former military ruler for confining 60 judges.
On November 22, the judge had asked Advocate Akhtar Shah to argue how he can represent Musharraf even after he was declared a proclaimed offender in a high treason case by the special court.
The lawyer replied that doctors checked his client after every two months and the security situation was not favourable for him in the country. He claimed that under Article 10-A of the Constitution, which ensures a fair trial, he can represent Musharraf even in his absence.
Public prosecutor Amir Nadeem Tabish, however, said being a fugitive of the law Gen Musharraf could neither seek any relief nor any lawyer could represent him unless he surrendered to the court.
The court then ruled that the counsel cannot seek a relief for Gen Musharraf unless the latter appears before the court. He said in case Gen Musharraf does not surrender, the court would declare him an absconder.