Supreme Court of Pakistan

The Federal and Provincial Governments to Contest Supreme Court Ruling on Military Trials

The interim federal government of Pakistan has revealed its intention to contest a recent Supreme Court (SC) judgment, which declared military trials of civilians unconstitutional. The decision to challenge this ruling was disclosed on Monday, with various government departments enlisting the services of private counsels to present their cases against the verdict issued by a larger bench of the apex court in late October.

The Attorney General of Pakistan, Mansoor Awan, is set to represent the federal government in the legal proceedings. Additionally, the defense ministry has engaged the services of senior lawyer Khawaja Haris, while the interior ministry has enlisted Ahmer Bilal Sufi.

Moreover, both the Balochistan and Sindh governments have expressed their intent to submit pleas against the verdict. Sikandar Bashir Mohmand and Jahanzaib Awan have been chosen to represent Balochistan and Sindh, respectively.

According to legal protocols, intra-court appeals must be filed within 30 days, and hearings are to be scheduled within 14 days of application.

The Supreme Court’s ruling, delivered by a five-judge bench in October, unanimously declared the trial of civilians in military courts null and void. The court ordered that 103 individuals accused of involvement in violence on May 9 and 10, 2023, be tried under ordinary criminal laws. The verdict also declared certain clauses of the Army Act as unconstitutional.

Notably, the court dismissed nine petitions that supported the military courts, including submissions from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Chief Justice (retd) Jawwad S Khawaja, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, Karamat Ali, Zaman Khan Vardag, Junaid Razzaq, Hafeezullah Niazi, Lt Col (retd) Inam-ul-Rahiem, and Naeemuddin Qureshi.

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