To determine the authority of the court, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) ordered lawyers to argue on extending the jurisdiction of the high court to the tribal areas at the next hearing of the petition on the appointment of members of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) tribunal.
On Thursday, a two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Malik Manzoor Hussain were informed by lawyers that the current members of the FATA Tribunal were not familiar with the customs of the tribal areas.
The lawyers told the court that in the petition filed by Advocate Ijaz Mohmand under Section 55-A of the Frontier Crimes Regulation it was necessary to appoint those people as members who are familiar with the customs. The current members and chairman were appointed by the governor and do not fall in that category.
The court said that as the orders of the tribunal cannot be challenged in the PHC, they first need to determine if the court can hear the case proceedings or not. The bench adjourned the case to the next hearing and told the lawyers to argue on the extension of the jurisdiction.
The tribunal consists of two members – Pir Fida Muhammad and Akbar Khan, and a chairman, Shah Wali Khan, who hears the review petitions of cases from the tribal areas.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2014.