SC issues written order of June 22 verdict on military courts


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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has issued a written order of the June 22 verdict regarding the constitutional petitions challenging the trial of civilians in military courts.

The order, signed by seven out of the nine judges on the bench, has been released, which also contained Justice Qazi Faiz Isa’s dissenting note earlier removed from the Supreme Court’s website.

According to Justice Qazi Faiz Isa’s note, he had sent a five-page reply to the chief justice on May 17, highlighting that a committee comprising the chief justice and two senior judges should have constituted the bench to hear these cases. However, this procedure was not followed as the Supreme Court suspended the proposed law/act before it came into effect.

Justice Isa expressed his dilemma caused by the chief justice’s ‘actions’, stating that it can only be resolved when the petitions against the law were decided or the injunction was withdrawn.

He further criticized Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial for handling all necessary matters at his own discretion or through appointed officials, without convening a full court meeting of the judges.

Justice Isa highlighted that the chief justice prioritized the petitioners and their lawyers, leading the bench responsible for hearing the petitions related to the proposed act. Justice Isa said that he was also eagerly awaiting a swift decision on the matter.

Additionally, the note of Justice Sardar Tariq Masood has also been released along with the written order.

Justice Masood has suggested to form a full court consisting of all the judges to hear the petitions against the military trial of civilians.

The note mentions that a petitioner against the military trial of civilians along with his counsel met with the chief justice and, following the meeting, the case was scheduled for hearing the next day.

Justice Masood has questioned the lack of consultation regarding the constitution of the bench and raised concerns about whether petitioners in long-pending cases would be allowed to meet the chief justice.

Furthermore, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, in his note, observed a recurring pattern in the formation of benches recently.

He believed that the constitutionality of the recent case necessitates the highest level of judicial review.

These developments highlight the ongoing debate and concerns surrounding the trial of civilians in military courts, bringing into focus the need for a fair and transparent judicial process.

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