Monday, December 29, 2014

Supreme Court review sought in Pakistani capital court-martial

A petition has been filed with the Supreme Court of Pakistan challenging the Lahore High Court's December 24, 2014 order vacating the stay of execution of a man convicted by court-martial. The petitioner (the man's mother) has thus far been unable to obtain the documents needed to prepare the case. According to this article in the Express Tribune:
The petitioner said that on December 24, 2014, the Deputy Attorney General apprised LHC that the production of charge sheet, trial proceedings and the judgment of court of appeals was against public interest.
Instead, the LHC-Rawalpindi bench had dismissed the petition since it was non-maintainable under Article 199(3) of the Constitution being an army matter, which is altogether erroneous view. The act of military authorities was utter violation of Articles 2-A, 9, 10, 10-A, 13 & 19-A of the Constitution.
“It is quite evident that conviction of the son of petitioner is unlawful, therefore, indulgence of this court is necessary and expedite under Article 185-3 of the constitution,” claimed the petitioner.
It is also stated in the petition that the superior courts of the country, through various judgments, set aside the conviction awarded by the trial court on a sole ground that the accused was either not provided an opportunity to be defended by a counsel partly or as a whole.
“There are four types of courts as per Pakistan army act, FGCM, can only be convened when an active service, therefore, the convening of FGCM and trial of the son of the petitioner falls within the category of coram non judice and without justification,” read the petition.
The petitioner said that there is no independent judicial review of any order of the military tribunal, adding that the decision of military tribunal is to be challenged before another similarly constituted tribunal.
The petition further contended that the LHC December 24 order is not sustainable under the law.
Quaere: the stay of execution having been lifted, will the government carry out the death sentence while the appeal to the Supreme Court is pending? Withholding the charge sheet, record of trial and judgment of the military court of appeal seems indefensible.

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