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SC suspends verdict against military trials of civilians by 5-1 majority

  • A 5-member bench had earlier declared military trials of civilians who were arrested following former prime minister Imran Khan’s arrest in May null and void
Published December 13, 2023

A six-member bench in the Supreme Court (SC) suspended on Wednesday the verdict of nullifying military trials of civilians accused in May 9 riots by a 5-1 majority.

The appellants against the verdict included the interim federal government, provincial governments of Punjab, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the defense ministry.

The six-member bench, headed by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and comprising Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Justice Musarrat Hilali, and Justice Irfan Saadat Khan heard the pleas today.

Only Justice Hilali differed with the judgement of five other judges in the bench.

The case is related to the military trials of the civilians accused in May 9 riots after the arrest of former prime minister Imran khan in which the protesters damaged several military and state installations, including the Corps Commander’s residence (Jinnah House) in Lahore and the gates of the military’s General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.

Traffic disrupted as PTI protests in major cities after Imran's arrest

Last month, SC declared the military trials of the civilians who were arrested null and void.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan had led the bench that included Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Ayesha Malik.

Presenting his arguments, then-Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman had said he would explain to the bench why a constitutional amendment was necessary to form military courts in 2015 to try the terrorists.

He was of the view if the accused had a “direct link” to the armed forces, then a constitutional amendment was not required. Awan further had said that the suspects would be tried under Section 2(1)(d)(ii) of the Official Secrets Act.


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Parvez Dec 13, 2023 01:22pm
.....and social media reports that the " bench has been fixed " to give the desired verdict. The fact that the law and Constipation says otherwise may matter not.
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Anila Qadri Dec 13, 2023 02:28pm
Praying to Allah for sanity of this country. The world has moved ahead and we are in constant chaos.
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Arif Dec 13, 2023 02:39pm
Since supreme court has now admitted it's incompetence in giving justice , I suggest Military court option should be given to other litigants also, so that they be freed from decades of ordeal they face in getting justice from incompetent judges.
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Safety Dec 13, 2023 03:13pm
Supreme Courts rather all courts should disband and hand over the justice pillar to Military Courts.
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Aamir Dec 13, 2023 03:21pm
Good decision. Chief Justice should also be a serving general from the army.
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Johnny Walker Dec 13, 2023 03:29pm
6 judges overrule previous 5 judges. SC is now a mandi with judges at each others throats. Great for the corrupt to buy favourable decisions as witnessed lately.
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E Dec 13, 2023 03:39pm
OK, Now SC is it green lighting any attacks against an already weak state??? Apparently .....
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KU Dec 13, 2023 04:20pm
Sad and gradual degradation of rule of law and justice. This was never the purpose of our country and people. Even history of such bad choices has not deterred the leaders, knowing this is polarising the society.
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Parvez Dec 13, 2023 06:31pm
@Johnny Walker, Nicely said..... the conduct of our judges especially the senior one with a very few exceptions reminds me of moral behind the Hans Christian Andersen fable of The Emperor's New Clothes.
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Bashir A Aziz Dec 13, 2023 07:13pm
We should close down the SC and let military impose its will on the civilian. Our justice system is a joke.
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zh Dec 13, 2023 08:34pm
The Supreme court has acceded to the wishes of army and exposed the hollowness of the tall claims of Qazi Isa. A wink from the establishment his holier-than-thou attitude and braved disappeared.
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JavedBhai Dec 13, 2023 08:41pm
.... And the military capture of the country is now complete. Myanmar take notes baby!! This is how it's done
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zh Dec 13, 2023 08:46pm
Twenty years hence, the Supreme Court would nullify this judgement and claim that they have righted the wrong as it is doing in the case of ZAB.
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BK Dec 14, 2023 04:00am
An extremely dangerous and troublesome move by the highly incompetent and corrupt SC. How can the SC rule against the constitution of the country? We as a nation do not deserve to stay alive. What is wrong with the Pak army elite? Why are they so hell bent on destroying the country? I am speechless and very depressed. A very pessimistic outlook for my motherland.
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HASIB Dec 14, 2023 01:52pm
Let’s finish this justice system and give this task to military as recommended by SC . At least country will have billions in saving !
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