The Supreme Court (SC), on Monday, warned of intervention if the special court failed to give its verdict on the recording of former President Pervez Musharraf’s statement in the next hearing of the under-trial high treason case.Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa was heading a three-member bench that heard a petition filed by the former president of the bar association of Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench, Taufeeq Asif, with reference to the delay in the proceedings of the long-running case being heard by a special court since 2014. The petition held the former chief, Musharraf’s absence from the country since 2016 responsible for the pause. CJP Khosa observed he “had an idea that Musharraf would be hospitalised” following the previous hearing. The court proposed three options to Musharraf: either to appear before the special court on the next hearing scheduled for March 28; to get his statement recorded via a video link or to allow his counsel, Salman Safdar, to answer the question on his behalf. Chief Justice Khosa wondered, “If someone is avoiding court proceedings on purpose, is the court completely helpless in the matter and can do nothing about it?” If the law is silent on the matter then the Constitution gives powers to the Supreme Court to act,” he remarked. Musharraf’s counsel told the bench that the ex-president was allowed by the government to leave the country. The top court also rejected an adjournment request by Musharraf’s lawyer. The defence lawyer, however, rejected all the options and maintained the defendant was too ill to answer questions via video link or in person. To which, the prosecution lawyer pointed out another option to the court to send a commission to question him. Justice Khosa responded, “He [Musharraf] will reach the hospital before the commission gets to him. His doctors are not even going to let the commission meet him.“The court was also informed by the deputy attorney general that the government had previously tried to bring Musharraf back to the country through extradition and INTERPOL yet failed on both occasions. The chief justice remarked, “I am not surprised. Foreign governments do not usually give a person up if there is a chance that they may be awarded the death penalty in the case.” “The government [may] have its own priorities but the Supreme Court’s priority is only the supremacy of the law in the country,” CJP Khosa asserted. He also directed the special court handling the treason case to decide on how to record the statement while warning that if no decision is reached in the next hearing, on March 28, the SC will make the decision.The hearing was adjourned till April 1. Last week, the former president was admitted to a hospital in Dubai when his condition deteriorated. He was suffering a reaction from a rare disease, for which he is already being treated for. He was discharged from a hospital in Dubai over the weekend. Earlier this month, SC had sought a report from the special court over the delay and directed the government to submit a response regarding measures taken to ensure Musharraf’s return to the country. Previously, head of the prosecution, Mohammad Akram Sheikh, tendered his resignation last year in a letter sent to the interior secretary. Sheikh had admitted his inability to proceed with the case after the imminent change of those at the helm. He was appointed in November 2013 by the then PML-N government. Musharraf has been indicted in March 2014 in a high treason case filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government over suspension of the Constitution and proclamation of emergency on November 3, 2007.The ex-army chief rejected all charges when he appeared before the court. Later, he was removed from the Exit Control List on the SC directives. He has not returned since leaving for Dubai On March 18, 2016, for medical treatment. A few months later, the special court ordered the confiscation of his property and declared him a proclaimed offender as he skipped hearings. His passport and identity card were also cancelled on orders from the apex court.