The Supreme Court of Pakistan is hearing petitions that challenge the trials of civilians in military courts. The case is being heard by a six-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial. Members of civil society have filed an application asking for a full court to be constituted to adjudicate on constitutional and legal questions, as they feel that the legitimacy of the current bench has been questioned by politicians and ministers. Even two members of the bench have suggested forming a full court. During the previous hearing, the Chief Justice warned the Attorney General for Pakistan that if he goes against his words, they will call the concerned person. The Chief Justice also expressed satisfaction with the government’s cooperation regarding the matter. The background of the case involves petitions filed by former Chief Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, senior lawyer Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, PTI Chairman Imran Khan, and members of civil society. They are asking the court to declare that the trials of civilians arrested during violent protests are violative of the constitution unless reasonable guidelines are created. The protests occurred after the arrest of the PTI chief and resulted in damage to military and state installations. Internet services and access to social media were affected during this time.
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