Islamabad: A special court here on Thursday admitted former President Pervez Musharraf’s plea to adjourn the hearing in a treason case against him till Ramazan. The hearing of the case has been adjourned till June 12.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Tahira Safdar granted Musharraf’s appeal after his lawyer Salman Safdar, in an application on behalf of the former President, told the court that doctors had advised him to avoid travelling due to his health issues, Dawn reported.
Safdar also said that although Musharraf wished to return to the country, his health did not allow him to do so, and appealed to the court to grant the plea on humanitarian ground.
The counsel said: “Musharraf should be given an opportunity to appear so as to fulfill the requisites of justice.”
“Currently, the former President was unable to speak and that he could not respond to the questions in court without his client’s assistance,” he said.
Safdar also submitted medical reports and snaps of Musharraf’s treatment in a hospital abroad. He said the 76-year-old is suffering from several diseases including a life-threatening disease.
The application further stated that the former President was sincerely apologetic for not appearing before the court.
The prosecution raised objections over the plea but was overruled. The special court issued a notice to the government over a plea for acquittal of Musharraf in the case.
Musharraf is facing a treason trial under Article 6 of the Constitution as well as Section 2 of the High Treason Act on a complaint moved by the federal government.
In line with the earlier directive of the Supreme Court, the trial court was scheduled to record Musharraf’s statement under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code to complete the treason trial but the former President could not appear before the court due to medical reasons.
On April 1, the Supreme Court directed the special court to proceed with the trial on the next date of hearing on May 2, and in case the former President surrendered and appeared before it, he would be entitled to record his statement.
But if he failed to appear, being a proclaimed offender (PO), the special court is empowered to proceed against him even in his absence under Section 9 of the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973, the top court had held.
According to the latest assessment of April 29, undertaken by Dr Faraz Khan at the American Hospital, Dubai, Musharraf’s health was been termed unsafe in case he discontinued treatment and travelled, the application argued.