SC yet to consider complaints against military courts

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The Army Act’s requirement that civilians be tried in military tribunals has not yet been challenged in a constitutional petition before the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has received three major petitions to date against civilian trials in military courts. Imran Khan, the deposed prime minister and chairman of the PTI, filed one petition through his attorney Hamid Khan.

Through attorney Faisal Siddiqi, members of the civil society filed the second. Senior politician Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan is currently opposing the military courts’ ability to try civilians.

Imran’s appeal was rejected by the SC registrar after many objections were raised. Then, in response to the Registrar Office’s complaints, an appeal was submitted. Uncertainty surrounds the two more petitions’ status.

They weren’t numbered or returned. It is well known that the pro-PTI Professional Lawyers Group actively opposes civilian trials in military courts.

A convention against the prosecution of civilians under the Army Act has already been held by the organisation in Lahore.

Additionally, there are claims that the PTI is helping to draft the petitions against the military tribunals. They believe that after Eidul Azha, Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and his ‘like-minded justices’ will issue orders against the military tribunals.

One group of solicitors, however, feels that CJP Bandial is not in a position to issue any coercive orders in this case prior to his retirement.

The primary benefit for the administration and “powerful circles” is that the higher judiciary is split due to internal disagreements.

The Supreme Court has already begun its summer break. The majority of the judges on the high court will still be sitting next week, though. It is evident that the pro-government Independent Lawyers Group opposes the prosecution of civilians in military courts.