ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday reversed the permission which it had granted to former president Pervez Musharraf to contest the upcoming general election after his lawyer told a five-judge bench that his client couldn’t attend the hearing on Thursday.
The bench headed by chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar was informed that Musharraf was not able to return to the country due to Eid holidays and the current situation. Earlier, the chief justice said the bench could wait for Musharraf to appear if the former general intends to show up.
The apex court on Wednesday court directed him to appear before it till 2:00 PM on June 14. Last week, the SC had issued a directive permitting Musharraf to file nomination papers for the July 25 general elections on the condition that he appear in person before the court on June 13 in Lahore o attend a hearing. The court had said that the former army chief’s nomination papers will be received by the returning officer, but would only be considered if Musharraf appeared in person at the SC Lahore registry. Musharraf had then filed his nomination papers from NA-1 Chitral after the court’s directive, but failed to appear in court yesterday. Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar then gave the former president until 2pm today to appear in person or face action according to the law. Musharraf’s lawyer Qamar Afzal today pleaded that the former president plans on returning but needs more time to appear before the court owing to the “current situation [in the country]” and Eidul Fitr holidays.
Adjourning the case for an unspecified period of time, the court took back its directive allowing Musharraf to file nomination papers and asked his lawyer to let the court know when he wants the case to be heard next. A four-member bench of the apex court, headed by the chief justice, was hearing Musharraf’s appeal against his 2013 disqualification by the Peshawar High Court.