Official response sought on declaring Mush farmhouse sub-jail
Islamabad: A Pakistani court on Tuesday directed police and civil officials to respond to a petition challenging their decision to declare Pervez Musharraf's palatial farmhouse a "sub-jail" so that he could be held there after being remanded to judicial custody.
A single-judge bench of the Islamabad High Court issued pre-admission notices to the Chief Commissioner and police chief of Islamabad and asked them to reply by April 29 to the petition filed by a lawyer named Aslam Ghumman.
Ghumman asked the High Court to set aside the notification declaring Musharraf's farmhouse a sub-jail.
Ghumman's counsel Asharf Gujjar argued that the district administration and police chief of Islamabad had provided "extraordinary treatment" to Musharraf by declaring his villa a sub-jail.
Gujjar, who has filed several petitions against Musharraf, claimed the Chief Commissioner of Islamabad had issued the order under the Prison Act of 1894 though the law has no provision for declaring a private home a sub-jail for one person.
He said an accused facing trial on a charge of terrorism could not be kept at a place of his own choice.
Musharraf last week became the first former army chief to be arrested and produced in court after a separate bench of the Islamabad High Court revoked his bail in a case related to the detention of judges during the 2007 emergency.
The High Court also directed authorities to charge Musharraf under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997.
The 69-year-old military ruler was subsequently produced in an anti-terrorism court that remanded him to judicial custody for two weeks.
After this, the administration of Islamabad declared his home a sub-jail so that he could be held there in view of threats to his life from the Taliban.
However, Gujjar contended that a person charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act should be kept at a district jail.
The accused should also be treated in the same manner as other accused are dealt with by the state, he said.