Pakistani Supreme Court Reconstitutes Panel for Military Court Trial Case

Pakistan's Supreme Court has reconsidered a panel of judges handling a case involving civilians tried by military courts. The case, involving over 100 civilians accused of attacking army installations during protests, had previously been adjudicated by a six-member bench. A majority verdict in December allowed trials with the final judgment pending ICA adjudication. The apex court has now referred the case to a larger bench after a request from the counsel and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party's demand for a thorough review of the military court proceedings and their constitutionality.

PTI | Islamabad | Updated: 24-04-2024 22:20 IST | Created: 24-04-2024 22:20 IST
Pakistani Supreme Court Reconstitutes Panel for Military Court Trial Case
  • Country:
  • Pakistan

Pakistan's top court on Wednesday decided to reconstitute a panel of judges hearing the case against the trial of civilians by the military courts.

The case pertains to the trial of more than 100 civilians for their alleged role in attacks on army installations during the riots that followed ex-premier Imran Khan's arrest on May 9 last year.

A six-member bench led by Justice Aminuddin Khan and comprising Justices Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Syed Azhar Hasan Rizvi, Shahid Waheed, Musarrat Hilali and Irfan Saadat Khan had been hearing the intra-court appeals (ICAs).

The ICAs were filed against the judgment of a five-member panel of the court that Oct 23 last year unanimously ruled against the military trials of civilians. The apex court had declared that the accused would not be tried in military courts but in criminal courts.

However, while hearing ICA, the court in a 5-1 majority verdict on December 13 allowed trial with the condition that final judgment would be issued after the adjudication of ICAs.

During the hearing today, a counsel requested the apex court that a nine-member bench hear the ICAs and the matter should be referred to the three-judge committee constituted under the Practice and Procedures Act 2023 for bench reconstitution.

The court accepted the plea and ICAs were referred to the apex court committee for the formation of a larger bench.

The development came as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party demanded that the Supreme Court quash the proceedings of the military courts against those arrested in connection with the violent protests of May 9 last year and set up a larger bench to hear the matter.

The demand was made by the PTI leader, Ali Muhammad Khan, while addressing a press conference in Islamabad along with the families of those arrested for their involvement in the May 9 violence.

Khan said that it will be almost a year that they were arrested for alleged involvement in violence and "they are currently in custody" of military authorities.

"There is a consensus across Pakistan that civilians should not have a military trial,'' he said.

PTI's legal team member Barrister Abuzar Niazi said that it was the stated position of his party that military courts were unconstitutional. ''If someone has to be tried, it will be done by a judicial officer because it is written in our constitution,'' he said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback