ISLAMABAD – The country’s most expensive constitutional trial in recent history, that has cost government the fee of Rs 20.501 million so far, is now at cross roads as head of Special Court Justice Faisal Arab left the three member bench.
Justice Arab recused from the court saying that if the defence did not think the judges to be impartial, the country had no shortage of jurists who could be asked to do the job.
According to the televised reports and information gathered by the court’s correspondents, the three-member court heard the case on Thursday during which Pervez Musharraf’s counsel Anwar Mansoor argued over the court’s earlier order of the issuing of a non-bailable arrest warrant against his client.
Mansoor told the judges that inclusion of the arrest warrant in the court’s order gave the impression that the former military strongman was not appearing before the court on purpose, adding that that was not the case. He said his client had serious reservations against the court’s move.
Upon hearing this, chief prosecutor Akram Shaikh began his line of arguments but was interrupted by Mansoor who said that the defence team had objections against Shaikh’s appointment as prosecutor, adding that the court had reserved its order over the matter.
He moreover said that Shaikh should not be allowed to argue in court as the defence team had been raising objections against his appointment from day one as well as against the manner in which the proceedings were taking place.
Mansoor further claimed that it was common knowledge in the corridors of the National Assembly and the Senate that Shaikh was tasked with the objective of awarding punishment to Musharraf.
Justice Arab said that submission of an application against the prosecutor’s appointment did not mean he should be stopped from arguing in court. The judge added that it was the court’s job to make a decision on the matter and if the application was accepted only then could Shaikh be stopped from performing his duties as chief prosecutor.