ISLAMABAD - Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge, Tuesday recused himself from the bench hearing the bail application of former President Pervez Musharraf in judges' detention case.

After his decision to dissociate himself from the case, the bench hearing the case stood dissolved and Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan heading the division bench (DB) has sent the matter to Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi to constitute a new bench to hear Musharraf's bail plea.

During the hearing, Justice Siddiqui announced to dissociate himself from the DB of IHC comprising himself and Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan.

Justice Siddiqui observed that he is being targeted by a baseless social media smear campaign against him after he cancelled pre-arrest bail of Musharraf and, therefore, he does not think it appropriate to continue hearing the case.

On this juncture, Musharraf's counsel Ilyas Siddiqui expressed his full confidence in the judge and requested him to continue the hearing of the case. But, Justice Shaukat refused to accept his plea.

Now the matter would be presented before IHC Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Kasi on Wednesday (today) who will constitute a new bench in this connection.

It is pertinent to mention here that Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had turned down pre-arrest bail application of former military ruler in judges' detention case while he had also directed to include section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) in the first information report (FIR) registered with Secretariat Police Station against Musharraf for confining 60 judges of the superior courts. Later, the former President moved a bail application before the ATC judge who also rejected to grant him bail in the case. Now, Musharraf has again approached IHC after cancellation of his bail by the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad to obtained bail.

SC wants to take Nov 3

misadventure to logical end

Staff Reporter adds: The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that the case of high treason against former president Pervez Musharraf for imposing emergency on November 3, 2007 was the matter national importance and should end logically.

Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, heading a three-judge bench that is hearing high the treason case against Musharraf, said that Article 6 was never exercised and “we have to set a precedent for applying this article”.

AK Dogar, representing one of the petitioners, Maulvi Iqbal Haider, said November 3 action was unique and the former president had knowledge about the case and the notice issued to him.

Dogar said that Hamid Khan, during the proceedings of SHCBA case, had stated that there was no need to issue notice to Musharraf but the court issued him notice so that he could clarify his position.

The attorney informed the court that he had asked his client whether anyone appeared on behalf of Musharraf in the Sindh High Court. “My client said that Abdul Hafeez Pirzada had fielded an attorney on behalf of Musharraf at the SHC.

Justice Khilji remarked that Musharraf had knowledge of the case but he might have felt as it was judges cases therefore he did not appear. Dogar argued that Hamid Khan, in his petition, had challenged the November 3 action and prayed for the trial of Musharraf. However, Justice Khilji said it was not the prayer but the contention of Hamid Khan that Musharraf should be tried under Article 6.

The hearing was adjourned until today.