Supreme Court rules in favour of military courts

ISLAMABAD: A 17 member bench at the Supreme Court agreed to continue with military courts, Aaj News reported.

Out of the entire bench, only six judges opposed the continuation of military courts.

Meanwhile the petitions against the 18th and 21st amendments were also dismissed.

The parliament passed the 21st Amendment and the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, to establish the military courts after the terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, last year.

They act allowed military to arrest people on suspicion and keep them for upto 90 days. They were further to be tried in secret military courts.

On April 16 the apex court had suspended executions of six terrorists who were awarded death sentence by military courts.

The stay order was issued on an application filed by senior lawyer Asma Jehangir on behalf of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) after army chief Gen Raheel Sharif had ratified the death sentence to six terrorists and life imprisonment to one by the military courts.

The judgement on the 21st Amendment as well as the 18th Amendment will be the last major verdict by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk as he will be retiring on Aug 16.
Over a five-month long hearing on the challenges to the 18th and 21st amendments was wrapped up by the Supreme Court on June 26. A total of 31 constitutional petitions were taken up by the court, of which 16 petitions were regarding 18th Amendment the rest were about 21st amendment.