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Supreme Court favours military courts, rejects petitions

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ISALAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) turned down petitions against founding of military courts with majority in a landmark judgment.

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The apex court, in an 11-6 move, dissolved a slew of petitions filed against the 21st constitutional amendment wherein military courts have been set up to the trial of terrorists.

A full bench comprising of 17 judges also dismissed petitions against the current process of nominating of judges in a vast 14-3 decision.

While publicizing the judgment, the CJ said: “In view of the respective opinions recorded above, by a majority of 13 to 4 these constitution petitions are held to be maintainable.”

“However, by a majority of 14 to 3 the Constitution petitions challenging the Constitution (18th Amendment) Act (Act X of 2010) are dismissed, while by majority of 11 to 6 the Constitution petition challenging the Constitution (21st Amendment) Act (Act 1 of 2015) and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act (Act II of 2015) are dismissed,” he added.

The judgment announced on Wednesday by a two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk and comprising of Justice Dost Muhammad Khan.

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Previously, on January 28 this year, a three-judge bench received pleas against 21st Constitutional amendment for consistent hearing and sought precise statements from federal and provincial governments.

Later on, a 17-judge full court of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, received the 18th and 21st constitutional amendment cases and heard the contends and arguments for couple of weeks.

During all this elaborated legal conflict, the apex court scrutinized petitions challenging the procedure of judges nominating under the 18th Amendment and the founding of military courts under the 21st Amendment to try militants in the aftermath of last year’s brutal Peshawar bloodshed.

After sever legal wrangling, the Supreme Court is likely to publicize ruling on three questions, which are as under:

  • Whether the Constitution has a basic structure or not?
  • If it has a basic structure then whether a constitutional amendment can be struck down on the basis of it?
  • Whether the parliament has the power to alter the basic structure of the Constitution?

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