Senate passes resolution challenging SC’s verdict against military courts
By News Desk
November 13, 2023 09:43 PM
The Senate of Pakistan on Monday unanimously passed a resolution against the Supreme Court’s (SC) ruling on the military courts and urged to hold trials of ‘terrorists in the military courts’, reported the 24NewsHD TV channel.
The resolution was tabled by Senator Dilawar Khan at the tail-end of today’s session.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan opposed the resolution.
The resolution urged to hold trials of ‘terrorists’ in the military courts and termed the SC ruling against the legislation approved by the Parliament.
Led by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, a five-member Supreme Court (SC) bench comprising Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, and Justice Ayesha Malik on October 24 had declared unconstitutional by a majority of 4-1 the military trials of civilians for their alleged role in attacks on army installations on May 9.
The bench unanimously emphasised that the cases of the accused involved in the May 9 riots would proceed before criminal courts.
The resolution stated that the absence of military court trials is likely to encourage those responsible for acts of terrorism due to the lack of stringent justice in regular courts.
Backing the military trials, it added, “Military courts have played a significant role in addressing terrorism by ensuring that those responsible for terrorist acts are brought to justice.”
The senator pointed out in his resolution, “However, this judge while abandoning the spirit of martyrdom, grants lenient option to terrorists, anti-state actors, foreign agents, and spies to be tried in normal courts.”
It added that the apex court has been taken into consideration the existing procedures which make it abundantly clear that the sentence given by Military Courts are not arbitrary and are conducted following due process and formalities.
“The provisions of the Army Act and underlying procedures ensure that the right to a fair trial under Article 10A of the Constitution is not violated.”
Resonating the concerns and sentiments expressed by various stakeholders in particular and public in general, regarding the recent judgement of the Supreme Court that declared Section 2(D)(1) & 59(4) of the Army Act unconstitutional,” the resolution read.
It demanded trials of culprits behind the May 9 riots in military courts for attacking defence installations and disgracefully dismantling memorials of martyrs. The culprits of May 9 riots deserve no empathy or leniency and stringent punishments should be given to them to set an example for internal and external enemies of Pakistan.
The resolution demanded the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision, ‘urging alignment with the national security paradigm and sacrifices of the martyrs in order to address the concerns raised regarding the ramifications of the judgement on the security and stability of the nation.”
The Senate session was adjourned till Tuesday, 10:30 am.