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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will hear petitions seeking general elections within 90 days and challenging military trials of civilians on October 23 (Monday).

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Athar Minallah, will hear petitions filed by the Supreme Court Bar Association and others seeking directives to hold general elections within 90 days as stipulated by the Constitution.

Meanwhile, a five-member special bench led by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, and Justice Ayesha Malik will hear petitions challenging the trial of civilians in military courts.

Military trials of civilians: SC to take up pleas on Oct 23

The SCBA moved the top court to direct the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce the date for polls within the constitutionally mandated period of 90 days following the dissolution of the lower house – National Assembly – on August 9.

The lawyers’ body also challenged the approval of digital census 2023 by the Council of Common Interests (CCI) on August 5.

A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court will take up about a dozen petitions challenging the trials of civilians in military courts on October 23 (Monday).

The pleas include those filed by former premier Imran Khan, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan, former chief justice of Pakistan Jawwad S Khawaja, five members of the civil society, Junaid Razzaq and Zaman Khan Vardag.

The last time a six-judge SC bench had taken up challenges to the trial of civilians in military courts was on August 3.

The same month, the Supreme Court had rejected a plea, filed by senior counsel Faisal Siddiqui on behalf of civil society activists, to constitute a full court for the case.

The next day, it postponed further proceedings for an indefinite period, despite requests by the petitioners to conclude and decide the matter during that week.

Following May 9 violence, the National Assembly had passed a resolution demanding that the rioters be tried under the Army Act. Days later, the army had revealed that military proceedings against “102 miscreants” were under way.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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