The federal government, through Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan, filed an intra court appeal against the apex court judgement declaring trial of civilians in military courts as unconstitutional.
The government’s appeal comes a day after the Sindh caretaker government and Balochistan Shuhada Forum filed appeals challenging the Supreme Court’s October 23 judgment.
The Sindh government appealed to the apex court to declare the five-judge bench’s order null and void, as well as grant a stay on the implementation of the order till this appeal is decided.
The appeal filed by the government prays to set aside the SC judgement against military courts. “Pending the decision on Appeal the operation of the Impugned Order/Judgment may graciously be suspended. Any other relief that this Hon’ble Court deems fit and proper may also be granted,” stated the appeal.
Read: SC rules against civilians’ court martial
A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court unanimously declared the trial of civilians in military courts as null and void and ordered that the 103 accused in cases relating to the violence on May 9 and 10, 2023 be tried under the ordinary criminal laws.
The court through the 4-1 majority also declared certain clauses of the Army Act as ultra vires the Constitution and of no legal effect. One judge of the bench, reserved his verdict on one para, though siding with the bench on the remaining paras.
The bench, led by Justice Ijazul Ahsan and including Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Mazahir Naqvi, and Justice Ayesha Malik heard the petitions that had challenged the trial of civilians allegedly involved in the May 9 violence in the military courts.
The petitions, questioning the legitimacy of trying civilians in military courts, were filed by former chief justice Jawwad S Khawaja, senior lawyer Barrister Aitezaz Ahsan and others. The other day, the apex court was informed that trial of 103 people in the military custody had already begun.
The five-member bench unanimously declared that civilians would be tried under ordinary criminal laws of the land in relation to such offences.