ISLAMABAD – The government on Friday filed an appeal with the Supreme Court challenging the ruling of a five-member bench that deemed the trial of civilians in military courts unlawful.
In this intra-court appeal, the Ministry of Defence has implored the apex court to nullify the decision made on October 23 and reinstate the sections of the Official Secrets Act that were previously nullified by the bench. Additionally, it urges the Supreme Court to reinstate Section 59(4) of the Army Act.
The petition also cautions that declaring specific sections of the Army Act and Official Secrets Act illegal could bring harm to the nation.
The defence ministry's plea follows a request made by the caretaker Sindh government and Shuhada Forum, Balochistan, separately asking the Supreme Court to set aside its ruling that deemed the trials of civilians in military courts unconstitutional.
Under Section 5 of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023, the Sindh chief secretary filed an appeal, invoking Article 184(3) of the Constitution against the order issued by the apex court regarding the trials of civilians in military courts.
The provincial caretaker government has urged the apex court to permit its appeal against the short order issued on October 23. It also seeks the court's intervention to suspend the effect of the short order while the appeal is under consideration.
Previously, on October 23, a five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Ijazul Ahsen and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi, and Justice Ayesha A Malik, declared the trial of civilians in military courts as unconstitutional.
The bench ruled that individuals involved in events from May 9 and 10, totaling 103 persons, and others connected to these incidents should be tried by civilian courts established under the country's regular or specialized legal frameworks.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and other parties have contested the use of military courts, citing concerns about their lack of transparency.
The decision to utilize military courts was made during Shehbaz Sharif's tenure, which concluded in August, handing over power to a caretaker government scheduled to oversee elections in January. Following the brief arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan by the Punjab Rangers, hundreds of Khan's supporters rampaged military and government installations, even setting fire to a general's residence.
Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar in the open market on February 27, 2024 (Tuesday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.4 for buying and 282.3 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.5 for buying, and 355 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 76.7.
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