Saturday, January 10, 2015

Second petition filed with Pakistani Supreme Court

A second petition has been filed challenging the 21st Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan. According to The Dawn:
The second petition against the 21st Amendment filed by Pakistan Justice Party Chairman Munsif Malik through Advocate Mohammad Ikram Chaudhry pleaded that the political government and military establishment had resurrected the doctrine of necessity which was buried forever by the Supreme Court through the landmark July 31, 2009, judgment holding the Nov. 3, 2007 emergency illegal.
It argued that the amendment was against the principles of equal protection of law and fair trial and asked why some civilians could be singled out for the rigours of military courts whereas the others continued to have the benefit of due process extended to them through normal judicial system.
The petition said the armed forces had been given a free hand to interfere in the judicial system without having experience and understanding of law. The military courts have been given a status they are not entitled to under the constitution. These courts will function under the dictates of their superiors since their objective will be to punish the accused and not to dispense justice.
The petitioner requested the Supreme Court to declare the 21st Amendment and creation of military courts against the salient features of the constitution which guaranteed fundamental rights of fair trial.
The Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association have not yet entered the fray.

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