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‘Police have no option but to arrest Musharraf’

April 19, 2013

ISLAMABAD, April 18: The capital police have no other option but to arrest former president Pervez Musharraf unless the superior judiciary grants him bail, legal experts told Dawn on Thursday.

If the police delay his arrest, they will be facing contempt of court.

The experts said police officers, including the investigation officer of the case, SDPOs and the SHOs of Secretariat and Ramna, the superintendents of City and Saddar along with the SSP operation and the inspector general, were guilty of disobeying the court order.

It may be mentioned that eight reserves along with the anti-riot unit were deployed around the Islamabad High Court during the hearing of the bail application of the former president.

SSP Yasin Farooq, SHO Secretariat along with the investigation officer and other police personnel were present on the premises.

Similarly, two subdivisional police officers and two assistant commissioners were also there.

Senior lawyer Chaudhry Ashraf Gujjar told Dawn that the act of the police officers was a contempt of court as they failed to implement its orders in letter and spirit.

It was due to the criminal negligence of the police officers that the accused walked away after the court rejected his application for extension in the bail, he added.

He said in practice an accused is immediately arrested from outside the courtroom after his bail application is cancelled. But in this case, the police avoided taking action against the accused.

The lawyer said according to the law after arrest the accused should be detained in the lock-up of a police station before being produced in a court in 24 hours for remand, either physical or judicial.

The judge can ask the police to investigate him and keep him in custody in physical remand.

Over reports that the former president’s residence may be declared a sub-jail, Mr Gujjar said it would be a sheer violation of the Prison Act.

The accused is allegedly involved in a heinous crime and cognisable offence and according to the act should be detained in a jail during the judicial remand.