Islamabad (Staff Report): The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday issued a stay order over Peshawar High Court (PHC) verdict to set aside convictions of 68 suspected militants most of whom were awarded death sentences by military courts in terrorism-related cases.
A two-member bench headed by Justice Azmad Saeed heard a petition filed by Ministry of Defence challenging the PHC’s judgment.
During the hearing, Additional Attorney General Sajid Illyas Bhattin argued that the PHC did not examine the facts properly, adding that the suspects were involved in serious crimes, including terrorism.
The additional attorney general pleaded the court to restore the sentences awarded by the military courts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The top court issued notices to the attorney general, directing the jail superintendents from releasing the suspects, who were acquitted by the PHC on Oct 18.
The court adjourned the hearing the case for an indefinite time.
A PHC bench comprising Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Lal Jan Khattak, earlier, pronounced a short verdict to allow 68 writ petitions mostly filed by close relatives of the convicts, claiming that military courts were not empowered to hear the case related to offenses committed more than three years ago.