RAWALPINDI: The Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench on Monday admitted petitions of three ex-navy men allowing them to file appeals against their conviction by military courts for their role in Karachi dockyard attack case.
Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin of the LHC noted that the three convicted men could challenge the verdict of the military courts and directed the registrar office to fix the petitions for regular hearing.
Earlier the LHC deputy registrar office had raised an objection on the three petitions filed by four ex-Navy men contending that under the constitution the high court could hear a plea against military courts decisions.
The three ex-officers of Pakistan Navy — Arsalan Nazir Satti, Muhammad Tahir Rasheed and Irfanullah — through their counsel Inamur Rehim, had filed separate petitions saying that their trials by the field-general-court-marshal were not in accordance with law and procedures.
Citing defence secretary as respondent, the petitioners have maintained that they were arrested soon after the attack on a Zulfiqar ship in Karachi on September 6, 2014.
They said that they were never allowed to meet their families by the military authorities despite repeated requests.
They noted that they were informed in May 2016 that they had been sentenced to death for their involvement in the dockyard attack case.
The petitioners asked the court to direct the naval authorities to provide them with documents including charge-sheet, copies of the inquiry board report, investigation report and trial proceedings enabling them to file appeals before the Naval Court of Appeals.
The petitioners’ counsel quoted a ruling of the Supreme Court of Pakistan saying that pleas against convictions under the Army Act could be taken up by the apex court as well as high courts for review.
The LHC has already admitted for hearing the petition of Muhammad Hammad, another ex-Navy officer who was convicted in a similar case. The LHC will take up the petitions on July 20.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2016.