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Trial of Civilians in Military Courts: Government's Request to Form Full Court Rejected

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ISLAMABAD: During the hearing on petitions against trials of civilians in military courts, the Supreme Court rejected the request of the federal government to form a full court.

A 6-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Attabandial is hearing the case, the bench includes Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Ayesha Malik.

Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial, while hearing the petitions filed in the Supreme Court against the trial of civilians in military courts under the Army Act, remarked that the decision of the Liaquat Hussain case states that military authorities can investigate civilians. No case.

Abid Zabari

At the beginning of the hearing, President Supreme Court Bar Abid Zubiri came to the rostrum, he addressed the court and said that I have filed a miscellaneous petition, to which the Chief Justice remarked that you are welcome.

Abid Zuberi said that I have submitted a written reply representing the Supreme Court Bar Association, I have 5 objections, the Chief Justice remarked that you can speak, say what you have to say, it is good to give your opinion. will be done.

Abid Zuberi said that under Article 83A, civilians cannot be prosecuted in military courts. I would like to draw the attention of the Court to the judgments of the Supreme Court. In 1999, the Supreme Court’s Liaquat Hussain case ruled that civilians could be tried in military courts. can not be.

He further said that according to Justice Ajmal Mian’s decision, only military personnel can be prosecuted in military courts. The judgment said that the trial of civilians under the Army Act would require a constitutional amendment.

Abid Zuberi said that in the decision on the petitions against the 21st constitutional amendment, the court spoke of judicial review. Courts have said that the accused can be tried in military courts only if they are directly related, the question is whether civilians can be tried in military courts without constitutional amendment.

Justice Yahya Afridi remarked to clarify his position, will connecting the accused be enough for the trial? Can’t there be a trial of civilians without constitutional amendment?

Abid Zuberi said that the trial of civilians in military courts cannot take place without constitutional amendment. According to you, can civil cases be tried in military courts?

Justice Ejaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that the trial of Liaquat Hussain case took place without constitutional amendment. If there is an internal relationship with the army, is there no need for constitutional amendment?

The Chief Justice inquired whether you can explain your position in the summary, what will happen if the relationship of the accused is proved?

Abid Zuberi said that it is requested that in the current situation this trial is possible only with the constitutional amendment, on May 9, the Official Secrets Act was applied to some people and not to some people, if you want, do a special trial. Then create a special court through a constitutional amendment. It will be.

The Chief Justice inquired whether by special court you mean the court which is subordinate to the High Court. Abid Zabari replied that there should be judicial review in the High Court and Supreme Court after the trial by members of the trial executive in military courts, not judicial, the Eighth Constitutional Amendment was for a fixed period, Article 175 9. The amendment is necessary for the trial of civilians in military courts.

The Chief Justice inquired that what will happen if the internal relationship of the accused is proved? Abid Zuberi replied that in the current situation, special amendments will have to be made for the trial, some accused are being charged and some are not, we do not know what is the standard of action against the accused in military courts. There are executive members instead of judicial.

He further said that the 21st and 23rd Amendments were for a specific period, after the 21st Amendment the Supreme Court allowed but also empowered the Supreme Court to review the High Court, the Supreme Court for abuse of jurisdiction or power. take Judicial review was allowed on the basis of

Justice Yahya Afridi inquired whether you are saying that first the police should be arrested and the case should be tried in ordinary courts, then the matter should go to military courts. Abid Zuberi said that the word ‘accused’ in the law is only the accused, until the charge is filed, the person is not guilty.

Justice Yahya Afridi inquired that you are saying that the case will first go to the General Court and then it can go to the military courts?

The Chief Justice remarked that in the Liaquat Hussain case, the said military authorities can investigate and not the trial of civilians.

Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan inquired who would decide who would be subject to the Army Act and who would not. Abid Zuberi replied that it is the police’s job to investigate, the police will decide.

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