ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Monday accepting the former President General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf’s appeal against Peshawar High Court’s decision for disqualifying him for holding any public office for life, issued notice to Attorney General for Pakistan and also referred the matter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) for constituting a larger bench in this regard.

A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmani and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan observed that larger bench would be constituted to hear the case after Eid holidays.

During the hearing, Musharraf’s counsel, Qamar Afzal appearing before the bench argued that no person could be declared disqualified for life for holding public office. The counsel referred to the example of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif case in which his disqualification was declared null and void. He said there is no clause of lifetime disqualification in the Constitution. He further argued that Peshawar High Court trespassed its jurisdiction and issued the decision.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, however, remarked that detention of judges was open secret and it could not be ignored by the court. Qamar Afzal said that investigation about judges’ detention case was under process and so far no result came out of the case. He said no person could be declared as guilty prior to completion of the investigation.

The court accepted the petition and issued notice to the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) for next hearing of the case.

A four-member bench of the Peshawar High Court headed by Chief Justice Dost Muhammad hearing the petition against the decision of election tribunal against his disqualification from NA-32 Chitral and had placed a lifetime ban on him for contesting elections.

SC suggests AAG to visit internment centres to get data: The Supreme Court on Monday suggested to Additional Attorney General for Pakistan to personally visit the internment centres in FATA and PATA in order to find out the exact number of persons detained there.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry asked Additional Attorney General (AAG) Tariq Mehmood Khokkar for that when Amna Masood Janjua pointed out to the court that complete details of the detainees had not been provided to the AG Office. About three weeks ago Mr. Khokhar submitted a list of internment centers, provided to him by FATA and PATA administration. According to that list, there are seven centres in Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa out of that two are non-functional. The internment centers are sub jail Palthom, Swat, sub-jail Fizagat, Swat, sub-jail Malakand, District Jail Timergara (not functional), Frontier Corps Forts for Chitral, Drosh, Mirkhani and Timergara (not functional), District Jail Lakki Marwat and District Jail Kohat.

Amna Masood Janjua, Chairperson Defence of Human Rights Pakistan, representing the relatives of various enforced disappeared persons, informed the bench that the case of Gul Faqir, a missing person, is similar to another missing person Noor Khan, about the authorities say they were unaware.

She said that few persons recently released from Internment Center Mohmand Agency have told that they have seen Gul Faqir and Noor Khan in that centre.

The bench inquired from the AAG that whether the name of those two missing persons were not mentioned in the list provided by FATA and PATA administration. In the internment centers in FATA there are 65 detenue and in PATA 504. Khokkar told the bench that he had written to Ministry of Defence about those missing persons. The Chief Justice upon that remarked that he himself should visit the internment centers to find out the exact number of detainees.

Since March this year the court had been hearing the missing persons cases on daily basis. Hearing the case of Ubaidullah and Mulazim Hussain, the missing persons, the chief justice directed District and Session Judge Bhakkar to record the statements of Mohammad Azam, father of missing persons, and the witnesses regarding the case.

The Inspector General of Police Punjab had been ordered to depute a counsel, who could cross-examine Mohammad Azam and the witnesses.

Mohammad Azam in his application had alleged that on 8th January 2012 at 11 pm some armed personnel including the policemen took his son. The AAG told the court that ISI has denied involvement, while MI had sought some time.

The court adjourned the case till August 5, 2013.