Supreme Court to take up pleas against military courts

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial on Wednesday constituted a nine-member larger bench to hear petitions against the trial of civilians in military courts.

The larger bench headed by the chief justice will take up the petitions today (Thursday) at 11:45am.

Besides CJP, the nine-member bench consists of Senior Puisne Judge Justice Qazi Faiz Isa, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Ayesha Malik and Justice Mazahir Ali Naqvi.

A day earlier, former CJP Jawwad S Khawaja filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the trials of civilians through military courts, The News reported.

He had filed the petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, making the Federation of Pakistan a respondent through the law, defence secretaries, and provincial chief secretaries.

The former chief justice submitted that the instant petition does not seek to support or attack any political party or institution, adding that it raises an important constitutional question involving fundamental rights that requires adjudication in the present circumstances.

“The petitioner has no personal interest in this case and the relief sought is for the benefit of all citizens regardless of political affiliation,” Justice (retd) Khawaja said in the petition, submitted through his counsel Khawaja Ahmad Hosain.

The former CJP prayed the apex court to declare that when ordinary courts are functioning, court martial of civilians by military courts is unconstitutional.

Moreover, Barrister Aitezaz Ahsan and Barrister Sardar Latif Khosa on Tuesday called on CJP Bandial to discuss important legal matters, according to The News.

In an hour-long meeting, both the senior lawyers apprised the CJP about important constitutional petitions filed in the apex court pertaining to the fundamental rights of citizens in general and supremacy of the Constitution in particular, sources close to the development said.

It was further learnt that Barrister Ahsan informed CJP Bandial about his constitutional petition challenging the trials of civilians through military courts and urged the chief justice to fix the matter in the apex court at the earliest.


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