The caretaker Sindh government clarified that it did not file an appeal challenging the Supreme Court’s verdict declaring unconstitutional the trials of civilians under the Pakistan Army Act 1952. This decision was made by a five-member SC bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan. The appeal was originally reported to have been filed by the Sindh chief secretary, but the Chief Minister’s House stated that this was not true. The caretaker governments in the Centre and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also challenged the decision.
The federal government challenged the composition of the bench that heard the petitions, citing that it was not constituted in accordance with SC Practice and Procedure Act, 2023. They argued that the high courts should have been approached first before directly going to the Supreme Court. They also claimed that the Pakistan Army Act ensures a fair trial and argued that court-martials and district trial courts have existed concurrently since the creation of Pakistan in 1947.
The appeal highlighted the May 9 incidents involving targeted attacks on military installations and establishments, indicating a premeditated and intentional attempt to undermine the country’s armed forces. Additionally, it mentioned the incidents of violence and damage caused during the attacks.
The caretaker government’s appeal also emphasized that the president has the power to grant pardon, reprieve or respite and to remit, suspend or commute a sentence passed by a military court.
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