SHC extends transitory bail period of Musharraf

Karachi: The Sindh High Court on Friday restrained the former president Gen retd Pervez Musharraf from leaving country without permission of the court. However, it extended Musharraf’s transitory bail for 21 days in two cases and 15 days in one case.

A singlebench comprising Chief Justice Mushir Alam extended the transitory bail for 15 days in the case of ‘illegal confinement’ of 60 judges after he had declared a state of emergency in the country on Nov 3, 2007. Earlier the court had granted him bail for 10 days to Gen Musharraf on 22 March in this case.

Separately, a division bench of SHC headed by the Justice Sajjad Ali Shah granted bail extension for 21 days to Musharraf in two cases the murder of former governor and chief minister of Balochistan Nawab Akbar Bugti in August 2007 and the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in a gunandbomb attack in Rawalpindi in December 2007. The same bench had earlier granted him bail in these two cases for 15 days.

The petitioner, former chief of army staff and president of Pakistan, escorted by paramilitary forces and personal squad, appeared before the court. Some lawyers chanted slogans against him for breach of the constitution and suspending chief justice and other judges. They demanded he should be hanged by neck.

An enraged lawyer, Tajammul Lodhi, tossed his shoe at Musharraf as he was heading to court but he missed the mark. Paramilitary troops, who were escorting Musharraf thrashed the civil rights campaigner. They also manhandled some journalists, who had come to cover the episode.

Counsel, AQ Halepota on behalf of the Musharraf pleaded to court for extension of the bail, saying his client be grated extension to enable him to approach concerned trial courts. He said that his client left the country on his own but at relevant time no case was registered against him. However he added that after Musharraf’s departure from country numerous cases have been planted. He claimed that all the cases are politically motivated.

Whereas, Shahdat Awan prosecutor general vehemently opposed the extension of bail, saying Musharraf had been declared proclaimed offender and nonboilable warrants were issued against him. Additional advocate general also opposed bail plea, who stated that serious allegations had been surfaced against him. Therefore, he asked court that former dictator might not be given concession.

However, Halepota said that Musharraf has appeared in the court before expiry of his protective bails. He said that his client is ready to face the charges that are politically motivated. The court said that it grants 10 days extension to Musharraf as it was enough time for him to surrender before the concerned trail courts. To which Halepota requested court to allow four week’s time to his client.

Without touching the merits of case, the court in order to enable Musharraf to approach to concerned trail courts, extended his transitory bail in three cases. The court ordered former president to not to leave country without permission of court.