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Civilians' military trial: SC directs AG of Pakistan to address families' concerns over meetings with prisoners

The order by a seven-member bench came during the hearing on the intra-court petitions filed against the trial in military courts of civilians involved in the May 9 violence last year.
Last Updated : 08 July 2024, 13:12 IST

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Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday ordered Attorney General Mansoor Awan to address the concerns of families of the May 9 riots suspects who said they have not been able to meet the prisoners.

The order by a seven-member bench came during the hearing on the intra-court petitions filed against the trial in military courts of civilians involved in the May 9 violence last year, Geo News reported.

May 9-10 events of 2023 refer to the violent protests that broke out in different parts of the country following the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan in an alleged corruption case.

Following the arrest of Khan, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party founder, his supporters attacked and ransacked government and military installations, prompting the authorities to try the rioters in military courts.

"The families have said they haven't been meeting with the prisoners. The attorney general should address these complaints," said the order.

The court then adjourned the hearing till July 11.

The apex court in May had referred the matter to the Procedure Committee for reconstitution of the bench after reservations were raised against the six-member board.

Petitioner former chief justice Jawad S Khawaja's lawyer Khawaja Ahmad Hasan, objecting to the bench, said a larger bench should be constituted in light of Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi's note.

On January 29, Justice Tariq Masood rescued himself from hearing intra-court appeals against civilians’ trials in military court, leading to the dissolution of a six-member larger bench.

In October last year, the Supreme Court declared the trial of civilians in military courts unconstitutional. It said 103 persons and others, who may be placed concerning the events arising from May 9-10 could be tried by criminal courts, established under the ordinary or special law of the land.

The Supreme Court, by a 5-1 majority, suspended its October 23 order wherein it declared civilians' trials in military courts null and void in connection with the May 9 riots.

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Published 08 July 2024, 13:12 IST

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