Justice Mansoor recuses himself from bench hearing military courts’ case

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ISLAMABAD: In an unexpected turn of events, Supreme Court Judge Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, who was part of a seven-member bench hearing identical cases challenging trial of civilians in military court, made an exit from the bench, leading to the dissolution of the bench.

After Justice Shah exited the bench, the top court formed another bench to proceed with the case.

As the seven-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, the federal government raised objection against Justice Mansoor Ali Shah. The Attorney General, representing the government, insisted that Justice Mansoor Ali Shah should not be a part of the bench.

Amidst the legal showdown, a spirited exchange unfolded between the Attorney General and the chief justice. The Attorney General asserted that the objection was raised on the grounds of a conflict of interest. However, the chief justice, driven by the moral authority of the court, passionately defended Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, refusing to yield to the government’s demands.

The courtroom crackled with tension as the chief justice demanded an explanation from the Attorney General. He questioned the basis for the objection, challenging the government’s motives and emphasising the court’s responsibility to speak the truth and free from external influence.

As tempers flared, and the bench’s integrity hung in the balance, the Attorney General, in a bid to assert authority, declared that a bench would not be formed according to the court’s whims. The chief justice stood firm, refusing to compromise the court’s independence.

After initial hearing, the Supreme Court bench decided to adjourn the proceedings. The judges left the courtroom and the courtroom fell silent.

According to sources, another bench will resume hearing the case at 11 am on Monday.

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