Justice Ayesha A. Malik declared the trial of 103 civilians in the May 9 violence case as unconstitutional. The government tried the civilians before military courts, but the courts ruled it was against the law. The trial was suspended, and Justice Malik explained that ordinary citizens should not be tried before military courts. She also emphasized the importance of fair trial standards and judicial independence. Justice Yahya Afridi supported this decision, stating that the earlier judgement on the matter should be followed. Both judges stressed the fundamental right to fair trial and due process guaranteed by the Constitution. The decision is in line with the principles laid down in the F.B. Ali case almost half a century ago. The judiciary is responsible for protecting the rights of the accused, and trial of civilians by military courts goes against this principle.

Source: Dawn, January 11th, 2024

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