Six-member SC bench resumes hearing pleas challenging military courts

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ISLAMABAD: A six-member Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial resumed hearing on identical petitions challenging the trial of civilians in military courts.

The Supreme Court bench started hearing after it was dissolved after Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, who was part of the seven-member bench, was dissolved following the objections raised by the government over his inclusion in the bench.

The six-member bench consists of Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Ayesha Malik.

Senior lawyers Aitzaz Ahsan, Latif Khosa, Attorney General and other lawyers are present in the courtroom.

As the hearing resumed, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s counsel Hamid Khan told the court that his application had not been numbered. He said that his plea was against the establishment of military courts.

At one point, the chief justice asked Hamid Khan “why don’t you amend your application”?

The chief justice observed that they were still in a setback after what had happened in the court in the morning. The top judge said that they will also hear the counsel for the first petitioners.

Advocate Salman Akram Raja is representing Aitzaz Ahsan and another petitioner, whose father had been picked up.

Earlier, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, who was part of a seven-member bench hearing identical cases challenging trial of civilians in military court, made a dramatic exit from the bench, leading to the dissolution of the bench.

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.

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