Pakistan's Supreme Court annuls military trials of civilians

05:27 PM | 23 Oct, 2023
Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday ruled that the trials of civilians who were detained during violent protests in the nation on May 9 that were held in military courts were null and void.

Following hearings in the case earlier today on a group of petitions challenging the legitimacy of prosecuting civilians in military tribunals, the apex court reserved its decision and then issued its brief verdict.

The court ruled that the trial of civilians under Section 2 D (i) (ii) of the Army Act is unconstitutional by a vote of 4 to 1. The five-member bench unanimously decided that common criminal statutes will be used to prosecute civilians.

Regarding the legality of Section 2 D(i)(ii), Justice Yahya Afridi reserved his judgement.

Following riots and destruction after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's detention on May 9, civilians were detained under the Army Act.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan presided over a five-person bench that heard the case. The bench consisted of Justices Muneeb Akhtar, Yahya Afridi, Mazahir Naqvi, and Ayesha Malik.

Ahmed Hussain, Jawad S. Khawaja's attorney, announced that he would read the ruling from the last hearing as soon as the hearing began. The judge, however, recalled that the attorney general had given his reasons at the last session and urged allowing him to wrap up his case before moving on to other subjects.

Lawyer Salman Akram Raja also stated that despite pledges in court, military tribunals had begun trials of civilians. However, Justice Ahsan ordered him to first hear from the attorney general.

Mansoor Usman Awan, the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP), gave a thorough recap of the prior hearing and outlined the reasons why a constitutional change was not required for the current trial.

He continued by saying that he will read the Liaquat Hussain case and draw conclusions from Article 175 in order to do so. The AGP contended that evidence would be documented and that a comprehensive explanation of the reasons behind the decision would be presented in the verdict while assuring the bench that the accused in the May 9 case would be tried in military courts with the same rigour as civil courts.

The accused's status was then questioned by the court. The attorney general made it clear that the defendants were both citizens and members of other groups. They would be tried in accordance with both the Army Act and the rules of civil courts under a dual legal framework. He stated that the accused will be charged, guaranteeing the criteria of a criminal case's due process.

Article 10A of the Constitution would be respected, according to the AGP. The high court would hear appeals before sending them on to the Supreme Court. Furthermore, military courts may have jurisdiction for assaults on structures and regions that are restricted.

The discrepancy between the Army Act's emphasis on military discipline and its application to civilians was then raised by Justice Ayesha and Jastice Mazahar. The attorney general maintained that the legislation applied to everyone, even those who were excluded from service and those who were just temporarily affiliated with the armed forces.

The dedication of the Constitution to safeguarding basic rights was continued by Justice Ayesha. She insisted that rather than restricting the Constitution's basic liberties, the measure was designed to make sure they wouldn't be. AGP Awan persisted in defending his viewpoint, however, citing people's associations with the military.

AGP Awan was further questioned by Justice Ayesha on how he would relate his points to Article 8(3) of the Constitution. She insisted that "a connection to the armed forces is required by law" for cases to be heard in military tribunals.

The nation's Constitution, according to Justice Ahsan, guaranteed fundamental rights.

The families of the inmates approached SC on Sunday in an effort to join the lawsuit. They claimed that because the military courts' procedures had an impact on the supreme court, the court should be involved in the case.

The federal administration simultaneously told the supreme court that 102 people had been detained in relation to the events on May 9 and 10. They were promising the court that proceedings in military tribunals would follow the SC case, which is still pending.

"Those found guilty would receive light sentences, while those who had served jail terms would be released," it stated. Convicted individuals will have the opportunity to appeal their legal sentences to the appropriate venue following the military trial.

The Pakistan Army Act of 1952 and the Official Secrets Act were used to arrest the people who were put into military custody. The people who were detained were involved in the attacks on the camps in Gujranwala, Bannu, and Hamza.


Rupee recovers marginally against US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham and Riyal; check forex rates

Pakistani rupee saw marginal improvement against US dollar as it appreciated in the open bank market.

Dollar Rate in Pakistan Today

On Thursday, the US dollar moved up and was being quoted at 285.3 for buying and 288.15 for selling.

Euro moves down to 311 for buying and 314 for selling. British Pound rate stands at 358.5 for buying, and 361.5 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED stands at 78 whereas the Saudi Riyal rate stands at 76.20.

Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 30 November 2023

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 285.3 288.15
Euro EUR 311 314
UK Pound Sterling GBP 358.5 361.5
U.A.E Dirham AED 78 78.7
Saudi Riyal SAR 76.2 77
Australian Dollar AUD 187.2 189
Bahrain Dinar BHD 759.67 767.67
Canadian Dollar CAD 209 211
China Yuan CNY 39.58 39.98
Danish Krone DKK 41.38 41.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 36.63 36.98
Indian Rupee INR 3.39 3.5
Japanese Yen JPY 1.49 1.56
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 926.7 935.7
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 60.38 60.98
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.44 175.44
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.25 26.55
Omani Riyal OMR 741.26 749.26
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 77.63 78.33
Singapore Dollar SGD 211 213
Swedish Korona SEK 26.93 27.23
Swiss Franc CHF 325.9 328.4
Thai Bhat THB 8.23 8.38

Gold rates in Pakistan increase; Check today’s gold rates 30 November 2023

KARACHI – The gold price continues to climb up in the local market in line of upward trend in international market.

Gold Rates in Pakistan Today - 30 November 2023

On Thursday, the single tola of 24 Karat gold was available at Rs218,600, and the price for 10-gram gold reached Rs187,420.

Meanwhile, the 22 Karat Gold price stands at Rs200,380, 21 karat rate for each tola is Rs191,275 and 18k gold rate hoveres around Rs163,950.

In international market, the price of precious metal hovers around $2,045 per ounce.

Today Gold Rate in Pakistan

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Karachi PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Islamabad PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Peshawar PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Quetta PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Sialkot PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Attock PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Gujranwala PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Jehlum PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Multan PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Bahawalpur PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Gujrat PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Nawabshah PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Chakwal PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Hyderabad PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Nowshehra PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Sargodha PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Faisalabad PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675
Mirpur PKR 218,600 PKR 2,675


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