Military courts: SC reserves judgment on constitutional amendments

Published: June 26, 2015
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Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO AFP

Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court reserved on Friday its decision regarding petitions challenging the formation of military courts.

A 17-member full bench of the apex court considered three questions regarding the 18th and 21st constitutional amendments and will issue its verdict based on these.

The questions were, whether or not the amendments have a constitutional structure, whether the 21st amendment is in contradiction with the Constitution and if the Supreme Court can annul the amendments in question.

Read: Military courts: Provinces identify over 1,300 hardcore terrorists

Earlier, Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt contended that while the judiciary has the prerogative of defining the Constitution, it cannot declare null and void a constitutional amendment or law with the single stroke of a pen.

Advocate generals of the federal capital and all four provinces, representatives of Pakistan Bar Council, including Asma Jahangir, Ibrar Hasan and Khalid Anwer, also completed their arguments.

On the occasion, the advocate generals endorsed the arguments of the attorney general placed before the court.

The apex court had received several applications regarding the constitutional amendments in question.

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While the 18th constitutional amendment relates to the procedure regarding appointment of judges, the 21st relates to the formation of military courts for the trial of militants, the latter receiving most applications relatively.

On June 24, during the hearing of the 21st amendment, Attorney General informed the court that last year, 85 per cent of cases were outstanding in anti-terrorism courts.

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