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Justice Ijazul Ahsan objects to benches hearing military trial appeals

Justice Ijazul Ahsan objects to benches hearing military trial appeals


Justice Ijazul Ahsan objects to benches hearing military trial appeals

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ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Justice Ijazul Ahsan of the Supreme Court raised objections on Monday regarding the composition of two benches handling the intra-court appeals against the ruling that deemed the trials of civilians in military courts unconstitutional.

A six-judge larger bench, headed by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, is scheduled to hear the appeals against the previous verdict, which unanimously deemed the trial of civilians involved in the May 9 riots in military courts as unconstitutional, on December 15.

Justices Aminuddin Khan, Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Musarrat Hilali, and Irfan Saadat Khan are also part of this bench, as per the roster issued by the Supreme Court.

In a letter to the judges' committee secretary, Justice Ahsan highlighted a meeting held on December 7, where it was agreed that a seven-member bench would hear the appeals given the prior judgement was rendered by a five-member bench. He emphasised the inclusion of all judges in the order of seniority to eliminate any perception of partiality.

Expressing concern, Justice Ahsan mentioned his wait for information on the two benches, stating that neither the meeting minutes nor its revisions were provided to him. He stressed the importance of accuracy in reflecting discussions and viewpoints in these records.

Citing the failure of the minutes to accurately portray the meeting's discussions, Justice Ahsan asserted his right to ensure transparency and maintain the court's dignity. He urged the immediate uploading of his note on the court's website, akin to the uploaded minutes, to rectify the record.

He concluded by underscoring the adherence to seniority in hearing these matters, emphasising the significance of transparency and the court's honour.

The background leading to these appeals involves a five-judge bench's decision on October 23, which directed that 103 accused individuals involved in the May 9 and 10 violence be tried under ordinary criminal laws, following petitions filed by former chief justice Jawwad S Khawaja, senior lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan, and others.