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Wednesday, July 24, 2024  
17 Muharram 1446  

Interim Sindh govt challenges SC’s decision against military trial of civilians

Urges apex court to annul judgement
Pakistani policemen stand guard at the premisses of the Supreme Court building during a hearing on the Panama Papers case in Islamabad on July 28, 2017. AFP
Pakistani policemen stand guard at the premisses of the Supreme Court building during a hearing on the Panama Papers case in Islamabad on July 28, 2017. AFP

The caretaker Sindh government has challenged the Supreme Court’s decision to declare the military trials of civilians arrested in the wake of violent protests in the country on May 9 null and void.

In an application filed in the apex court, the interim government urged the court to annul the judgement.

On October 23, a five-member SC bench declared Section 2(1)(d) of the Army Act, which elaborates on persons subject to the Act, to be in violation of the Constitution and “of no legal effect”. The court also declared Section 59(4) (civil offences) of the Act to be unconstitutional. Justice Afridi disagreed with striking down the sections.

The order said the trials of 102 civilians and accused persons, identified by the government in a list provided to the SC, and all other persons who may be placed under trial in connection with the events of May 9 should be held in criminal courts.

“It is further declared that any action or proceedings under the Army Act in respect of the aforesaid persons or any other persons so similarly placed (including but not limited to trial by court martial) are and would be of no legal effect,” the court had added.

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The caretaker government also sought to suspend the decision of the SC. The petition added that those who vandalised the military installations on May 9 should be tried in military courts.

The apex court did not properly evaluate the law and the facts, it alleged.

The application urged the court to restore the sections of the law that were annulled. It further reminded the court that some suspects had informed the court that their trial should be done in the military court.

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