Monday, June 22, 2015

An active full bench at today's hearing in Islamabad

It was another lively day at the Supreme Court of Pakistan, sparked in part by the government's failure to produce the records of military court trials already conducted. Here is Pakistan Today's report:
Displeased over failure to present trial record of people sentenced to death by military courts, the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday directed the attorney general (AG) to file the record within 24 hours. 
As a 17-member full bench of SC presided over by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Nasirul Mulk took up the case for hearing Monday, AG Suleman Butt took plea that the law which comes into existence with two-third majority cannot be nullified by the court with a stroke of pen. The court has accepted in Ziaur Rehman case that the judiciary cannot nullify the constitutional amendment, he contended. 
Speaking in court, the AG said the accused people who go against the country’s defence will be tried in military court while those who belong to the enemy country and are arrested, will too be court-martialed. 
“Sindh High Court (SHC) has acknowledged that Majlise Shoora was authorised to make amendments. Judiciary is neither authorised to make amendment in the Constitution nor can it declare it void. Judiciary can only interpret it. Parliament manifests aspirations of people. As per Sheikh Liaqat Hussain case, three kinds of trial have been talked about. Army personnel, those connected with army and ones linked to defence of Pakistan can be tried in military courts,” Butt argued before the court. 
Responding to Butt’s arguments, as Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani made it clear that civilians could not be court-martialed, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said that no separate methodology could be adopted to run the system of life. 
“Constitution has conferred powers on all institutions including government and no institution can exercise this power contrary to will of people and Constitution. The preface is formed after the British Law is implemented but with us the matter is something else,” said Justice Khwaja. 
Speaking on the occasion, Justice Ejaz Chaudhry said, “SC’s 17-member bench needs no judicial precedence. It is fully entitled to give decision of every kind.”

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