Interim govt challenges SC verdict on military trials of civilans

Interim govt challenges SC verdict on military trials of civilans

Islamabad (Web Desk): The federal government has approached the Supreme Court (SC) with an appeal against the order of a five-member bench that declared the trial of civilians in military courts illegal.

According to details, In an intra-court appeal, the Ministry of Defence urged the top court to revoke the October 23 decision and restore the sections of the Official Secrets Act that were declared illegal by the bench. 

It also urges the SC to restore Section 59(4) of the Army Act.

The petition has also warned that declaring some sections of the Army Act and Official Secrets Act illegal would harm the country.

The government's appeal comes a day after the Sindh caretaker government and Balochistan Shuhada Forum filed separate petitions challenging the Supreme Court’s October 23 judgment.

The Sindh chief secretary filed an appeal under Section 5 of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023 read with Article 184(3) of the Constitution against the order passed by the apex court in the petitions, challenging the trial of civilians in military courts.

The caretaker provincial government prayed to the apex court to allow its appeal against the October 23 short order.

It further prayed the court to suspend the operation of the short order till the appeal is pending.
On October 23, a five-member special bench of the top court headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Ayesha Malik declared the trial of civilians in military courts as unconstitutional.

The bench had ruled that that 103 persons and others who may be placed in relation to the events arising from May 9 and 10 could be tried by criminal courts established under the ordinary or special law of the land.

It is pertinent to mention that a number of petitions were filed before the SC challenging the government’s decision to put May 9 suspects through military trials.

The petitioners included, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, civil society members, senior politician Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and former CJP Jawad S Khawaja.