A new seven-member bench has taken over the hearing of petitions challenging the trial of civilians in military courts. This comes after a previous nine-member bench was dissolved due to objections raised by Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood. Justice Isa stated that he could not be part of any bench until a case relating to the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 was decided. The hearing was adjourned, but Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial decided to proceed with the case and formed a fresh seven-member bench without justices Isa and Masood. During the hearing, Justice Isa raised concerns about the implementation of the bill and the disregard of his previous order. He stated that he did not consider the current bench to be valid, but he did not recuse himself from the case. CJP Bandial mentioned that two judges objected to the bill, and the bench was formed according to the top court’s rules. The petitions against military trials were filed by former CJP Jawwad S. Khawaja, Aitzaz Ahsan, Karamat Ali, and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. They argue that the trial of civilians in military courts is unconstitutional.
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