Friday, June 6, 2014

Expanded bench to decide Malakand disappearances case

Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja
The Express Tribune reports that a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan will refer a landmark case involving civil court jurisdiction over military personnel to an expanded bench. According to the article:
The bench questioned as to how to deal with serving members of the army when accused of an offence under Pakistan Penal Code.
Similarly, the top court also sought clarity over whether the ordinary criminal courts are obliged to accede to the request made by the military authorities or is it within the discretion of the ordinary courts to determine whether or not to allow the request of the military authorities for transfer of the case to them.
Additionally, the SC raised questions over the ordinary forum’s authority to exercise discretion in the matter of a request received from the army authorities, should such requests be considered?
The panel denied a government request to close the hearing, saying that "everything would be done in the open court from now onwards."

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