Federal Government to challenge SC's decision on civilian trials in military courts

Federal Government to challenge SC's decision on civilian trials in military courts

The federal government has initiated discussions regarding the potential challenge to the Supreme Court's ruling that nullified the trial of civilians in military courts, according to sources with knowledge of the matter on Wednesday.

It is reported that the government intends to challenge this decision soon after receiving the detailed judgment. "The decision will be thoroughly reviewed in consultation with various state institutions," stated the sources, who shared details of the latest developments.

On Monday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, led by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, announced a verdict with a 4-1 majority, annulling the trial of civilians in military courts.

In a brief order, the top court emphasized that civilian trials cannot be conducted in military courts and that Section 2 (D) (I) was deemed unconstitutional. The bench, consisting of Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Ayesha Malik, Justice Mazahar Naqvi, and Justice Yahya Afridi, determined that the 102 civilians held for military trials related to the May 9 incident can only be tried in criminal courts.

The court also invalidated requests from civilians in custody who had expressed confidence in military courts due to a lack of an affidavit attached to their applications. The verdict was announced following the completion of arguments by Attorney General Mansoor Awan.

The government had previously informed the court about the ongoing trials in a miscellaneous application in line with the Supreme Court's August 3 order. The application stated that the accused individuals had been taken into custody in May and emphasized the need for their trials to be conducted and concluded to ensure fairness.

On August 3, the then-Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial had asserted that the Supreme Court would prevent any unconstitutional actions by the country's military while hearing pleas challenging the trial of civilians in military courts.

In response to the government's actions and military involvement, several prominent figures, including PTI Chairman Imran Khan, former Chief Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan, and civil society members, requested the Supreme Court to declare military trials as "unconstitutional."