Court seizes Musharraf’s Rs1m surety bonds

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ISLAMABAD: An anti terrorism court (ATC) has confiscated the Rs1 million surety submitted by the guarantors of retired General Pervez Musharraf for his release in the judges detention case.

In June 2013, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had granted bail to the former military ruler in the judges’ detention case and directed him to submit two surety bonds worth Rs500,000 each.

Mushtaq Ahmed and Rashid Mehmood, his guarantors, had pledged their property documents as the surety amount.

Allows guarantors to swap their attached properties with cash for purposes of confiscation

However, during proceedings on Friday, both guarantors requested the court to release their property, saying they were willing to deposit Rs1 million in cash, which the court may confiscate.

The ATC has already initiated proceedings against both guarantors under section 514 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Under this section, sureties may be substituted with a cash amount, therefore the court allowed their request.

On Feb 2, 2017, the anti-terrorism court issued notices to the guarantors, notifying them of the confiscation of the bail bonds, but did not proceed further.

The latest order of the court states: “The prosecution’s evidence has already been closed and perpetual warrants of arrest have been issued against the accused (Gen Musharraf).”

The court noted that “due to non-appearance of proclaimed offender, the bonds so submitted are hereby confiscated”.

The judges’ detention case was registered against Gen Musharraf on Aug 11, 2009 on the complaint of local advocate Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam Ghumman, accusing him of confining over 60 judges of the superior courts after imposing an emergency on Nov 3, 2007.

But Mr Ghumman, who is currently an office-bearer of the Supreme Court Bar Association, had later announced that he would not pursue the case “in the larger public interest”.

This is the first case in the former general was arrested following his return to Pakistan in March 2013. IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had ordered Musharraf’s arrest, dismissing his plea for pre-arrest bail in the same case on Apr 18, 2013.

Police framed charges against Gen Musharraf before the anti-terrorism court on June 12, 2013 and he was indicted the same month. The accused, however, pled not guilty.

On Feb 9, 2017, the anti-terrorism court declared him a proclaimed offender after his continuous absence and issued perpetual warrants for the former army chief, seeking details of his movable and immovable properties.

The court has directed the Secretariat police station house officer to submit “the list of properties owned by the proclaimed offender (Gen Musharraf) and submit Qalandra (official complaint) under section 88 of the CrPC.”

Section 88 empowers the court to confiscate the movable and immovable properties of proclaimed offenders.

 

 

 

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