The Supreme Court on Friday scheduled a hearing on the case against civilians being tried in military courts on October 23. The issue will be heard by a five-member bench led by Justice Ijaz-ul-Hassan and comprised of Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Mazhar Naqvi, and Justice Ayesha Malik.
According to the media reports, the parties have been served with notices of the hearing by the Supreme Court. It is worth noting that the previous hearing in this case was placed on August 3, 2003. On Thursday, petitioner Junaid Razzaq, the father of Arzam Junaid, who is in military detention, asked the Supreme Court to accelerate the case’s hearing, claiming that military court hearings had already commenced and requesting that the case be scheduled for the third week of October.
Arzam Junaid was apprehended on May 15 and brought to the custody of the commanding officer in Lahore on May 25. As a result, it had been more than four months since his custody was transferred to military officials. The petitioner stated that the start of military court trials for civilians was an obvious violation of an order made by the Supreme Court on August 3, 2023.
A six-judge court led by former Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial heard the above-mentioned case for the last time on August 3. During the most recent hearing, Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan informed the court that the military’s top authorities and the government are seriously considering a high court appeal against the military court’s (MC) ruling.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) asked that the interested parties and authorities follow their commitment to the Supreme Court and immediately suspend the trial of civilians in military courts. In his letter to the AGP, PTI leader Shoaib Shaheen’s spokesman reminded the AGP of his assurances before the Supreme Court that there will be no trials of those in military captivity.
“In reference to the court order dated 03.08.2023, I would like to inform and request that on 21.07.2023, Constitution Petition Nos. 24 to 28 & 30 of 2023 was fixed for hearing before the SC, wherein you after seeking instructions from the federal government made a statement before the top court that there will be no trials of the persons in military custody,” he added.
“In view of the above, you are hereby requested to inform the concerned quarters and the authorities to honor the undertaking and implement the order dated 03.08.2023 in its true letter and spirit and not to commence the trial as per undertaking and the order of SC,” Shaheen added.