SC stays execution of six terror convicts sentenced by military courts

Published: April 16, 2015
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The AGP says the prisoners have the right to appeal against black warrants under the Army Act. PHOTO: AFP

The AGP says the prisoners have the right to appeal against black warrants under the Army Act. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed execution of six militants on terror charges awarded by military courts. 

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had requested the top court to pass an interim order staying execution of the condemned prisoners.

Noor Saeed, Haider Ali, Murad Khan, Inayatullah, Israruddin and Qari Zahir were condemned to death on April 2 by the military courts which have been established through a constitutional amendment under the National Action Plan.

Read: 21st Amendment: Death penalties awarded by military courts challenged

The military said this month its courts had sentenced six
“hard core terrorists” to death and a seventh to life
imprisonment.

A 17-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Nasirul Mulk heard the case in the apex court today (April 16).

According to the court’s short order, the death warrants of terror convicts awarded by the military courts in the future will also be suspended.

Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Salman Aslam Butt expressed reservation over the apex court’s decision and said the trial of the convicts in the military courts was not a secret crime and a complete procedure was adopted.

“Prisoners have the right to appeal against the black warrants under the Pakistan Army Act 1952,” he added.

The convicts were reportedly involved in several serious crimes.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Nasirul Mulk said the trial of the convicts was not public, while it were just death sentences that were public.

Counsel for SCBA Asma Jahangir stated that she can produce the affidavits of the family members of the convicts, proving that they were aware about the black warrants through media.

While Justice Saqib Nisar said that there is a procedure to confirm death warrants of convicts.

The court adjourned the hearing of the case until next week.

The SCBA had filed an application through Asma Jahangir, requesting the apex court pass an interim order staying execution of the men convicted by the military courts till the final disposal of the constitutional petition.

It also prayed that as the guardian of the Constitution the apex court has to ensure the fundamental rights.

“The recent trials of military courts are neither public nor transparent and military courts do not ordinarily observe principle of due process thus the apprehensions of the petitioner are genuine and have merit,” read the plea.

Critics have raised questions about how fair and accountable
the military courts are.

Nine military courts were established in January, after militants attacked a school in Peshawar, killing 134 pupils and 19 adults. Amid popular pressure to crack down on militants after the school attack in December, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif championed the new courts in parliament and lifted a moratorium on the death penalty.

Read: Final verdict: PM lifts ban on executions in terrorism cases

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Reader Comments (22)

  • SKChadha
    Apr 16, 2015 - 11:54AM

    Judiciary vs Establishment ….. good game .. ???Recommend

  • Observer
    Apr 16, 2015 - 12:02PM

    What else one can expect from these incompetent civil courts. They are rather part of the problem.May God help us from that evil.Recommend

  • Israr
    Apr 16, 2015 - 12:15PM

    Credit to SC. Common sense and justice finally prevail.Recommend

  • IK
    Apr 16, 2015 - 12:38PM

    Bad tactics to delay the national action plan…Recommend

  • Asif
    Apr 16, 2015 - 1:08PM

    Wrong move by SC . its another prevailing instability in country..

    Agreed delayed Tactics of National Action plan.. Thanks Asma Jahangir who always become problematic woman of Pakistan.. Recommend

  • A J Khan
    Apr 16, 2015 - 1:19PM

    SCBA see terrorists as money minting business. Deals for their release/remissions are done in millions. Judiciary has already released 4000 apprehended terrorists. If the courts think that that there is no threat of terrorism, then they should come out of bullet proof vehicles and seek guards as given in the rules ie one sepoy.If the money for Lawyers is more important that the lives of the people of Pakistan then their is all the reason that this department should be packed and dumped., Recommend

  • Nadir
    Apr 16, 2015 - 1:24PM

    If army cheif says you are guilty, then you are guilty! What is this debate?!Recommend

  • moeed
    Apr 16, 2015 - 1:40PM

    asma jahangir what kind of liberal group does she represent, these men were terrorist and they were punished by military courts due to the reason they are a threat to public and country no why is supreme court intervening and stopped these terrorist to hanged Recommend

  • Timorlane
    Apr 16, 2015 - 2:17PM

    @moeed: She is the kind that wails at the action against terrorists in Balochistan however

    utter to fail a single word of condemnation of terrorism such as the recent massacre of

    laborers in TurbatRecommend

  • syed baqar ahsan
    Apr 16, 2015 - 2:22PM

    @Nadir:
    The army’s chief order is not personal but your comments not on merit do not confuse ur self and readers please.Secondly, you never been to our civil courts where generations fight case and decision seldom comes.Recommend

  • syed baqar ahsan
    Apr 16, 2015 - 2:28PM

    In a country where Chief Justice becomes council/defender of murderer then anything can happen in our courts.Recommend

  • Khalid Javaid
    Apr 16, 2015 - 3:15PM

    So the descendent of ex-chief justice continue to play their role assigned to ex-chief to let the blood of innocent civilians flow. Ex-chief justice of Lahore High Court is defense lawyer for killer of ex-governor Punjab……. Second Coming should be around the corner… these so called custodians of law wearing blood stained gloves. Recommend

  • Ali Raza
    Apr 16, 2015 - 3:24PM

    They should rather create a National Action Plan against the judiciary first !Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Apr 16, 2015 - 4:06PM

    @Israr:
    As they say ‘If you think education is expensive, try ignorance’. Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 16, 2015 - 5:10PM

    Quick but transparent justice is what nation wants. Nobody should be above law, not even Military courts. Salute to Supreme Court on their brave decision.Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Apr 16, 2015 - 6:33PM

    It is a typical case of not having the capacity, the will or the resources – own or of others like investigators and prosecutors – to do an arduous, unpleasant though essential job and not even letting others do it either. The concern seems to be more for the rights of murderers and criminals – for whom bucket-full of tears are shed – rather than for the rights of their innocent victims for whom their is neither a thought, nor a tear.

    After all, it is not without reason that hate-mongers, violence-inciters and makers and admirers and supporters of Daesh and other terrorists are free men (and women) while former president Pervez Musharraf is being hounded with one murder case after another.

    KarachiRecommend

  • Parvez
    Apr 17, 2015 - 12:14AM

    The judiciary have not understood that the establishment is really helping them out.Recommend

  • Junaid Ali
    Apr 17, 2015 - 2:51AM

    For those who are appreciating this insane decision by supreme court

    May Allah one day your brother, sister, mother, son or daughter were killed by these terrorists and then when they will come out clean due to loop holes in our judicial system, i would love to know your feelings :)Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 17, 2015 - 6:52AM

    @Ali Raza:
    The Prime Minister has a plan. Does any one recall what Nawaz Sharif said after the murder of Bibi Bhutto? It looks like we are facing the conditions similar to those in columbia, where the army is involved permanently to fight the peoples resistance..

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Hugh Slaman
    Apr 17, 2015 - 8:38AM

    The Supreme Court is a joke. Military courts could be a potent way to win the psychological war against terrorists. As usual, though, our judiciary helps out the terrorists.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Apr 17, 2015 - 1:00PM

    The SC has not realized that the military courts are doing their job for them……they should be thankful.Recommend

  • Emjay
    Apr 18, 2015 - 7:33AM

    Of course the courts are going to do this. First step to implementation of National Action Plan is to shut down all civilian courts for a period of 6 months while military courts clean up the country. Our civilian courts take up ages to solve a case anyway. Six months will be like a tea break for them. After seeing the the flower shower on Qadri by our lawyers and the highly dubious decisions taken by our ex-CJP in office, I have ZERO faith in our civilian legal system.Recommend

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