ISLAMABAD - A division bench of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday granted post-arrest bail to former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf in judges’ detention case.

The division bench comprising Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan and Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi accepted his bail plea and directed the accused to submit surety bonds of Rs 0.5 million.

The court announced its judgment after advocate Ilyas Siddiqui, legal counsel for Gen Musharraf, and a special public prosecutor (SPP) of Islamabad police concluded their arguments in this matter.

Earlier, an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad had rejected the bail application of Pervez Musharraf on May 22 citing the appellant was a proclaimed offender and not entitled to any concession.

During course of arguments before the division bench, Ilyas Siddiqui contended that Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was not detained as he was addressing different bar associations at that time. He further argued that Musharraf could not be declared as absconder in the particular case because there was no offence like that as per contents of the FIR.

Siddiqui continued that if there was any offence like abrogation of the Constitution, Gen Musharraf should have been impeached by the Parliament. He stated that under Article 47 of the Constitution newly-elected government of that time had the power to impeach the former president if he had done anything wrong but it did not do that rather he was sent from Presidency with a guard of honour.

He argued that police declared his client proclaimed offender as he did not join the investigation. “In fact no effective effort was made to serve the summons on former president,” he added.

Musharraf’s counsel said former president Musharraf never issued any order for judges’ confinement.

Public Prosecutor Amir Nadeem counter argued that Gen Musharraf had issued order to detain over 60 judges of the superior courts.

Opposing the bail petition of Gen Musharraf, the prosecutor said since Musharraf remained absconder for quite a long period, therefore, he could not claim the same right as the other accused in such cases could avail. He informed the court that an interim challan of the judges’ detention case was submitted before the sessions court of Islamabad on January 1, 2013 and the court on the same day issued the proclamation order of of Gen Musharraf. The prosecutor claimed that certain quarters also abetted Gen Musharraf in committing the said crime.

To support his arguments, he referred the statement of Gen Musharraf that he recorded to the joint investigation team in which Musharraf admitted that he imposed November 2007 emergency with the support of ‘certain people’ but the former military chief did not disclose the name of his supporters.

Justice Qureshi inquired from the prosecutor whether or not the same could be exhibited on record? Upon which he replied that it could not.

He, however, argued that ‘if Musharraf was not behind the judges’ detention then who kept them detained?” He further raised a question that if Musharraf did not issue the order for judges’ detention, then why he did not take action against those who kept the judges detained?

After hearing the arguments of both sides, the division bench granted bail to Musharraf and directed him to submit surety bonds worth Rs 0.5 million.