Friday, January 9, 2015

Pakistan Supreme Court seeks views of the Attorney General

The 21st Amendment case is not the only big military justice question before Supreme Court of Pakistan. The court has also asked Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt to give his views on three basic jurisdictional questions in the Malakand missing persons case:
First, when a person is accused of commission of an offence under the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and that person is serving in the Pakistan Army, is it the ordinary criminal (forums) courts, set up under the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.), which are to try him, or is it for the forums under the Pakistan Army Act to try such an accused?
Second, is it the ordinary criminal courts (in the present case, the courts in Malakand) that are obliged to accede to the request made by the army authorities, or is it within the discretion of the ordinary courts to determine whether or not to allow the request of army authorities to transfer the case to them?
Third, if it is for the ordinary forums to exercise discretion in the matter of a request received from the army authorities, what is the basis on which such a request should be considered, and then allowed or declined?
According to this account, the attorney general's views are to be presented on January 12, 2015. 

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