Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fight for the record of military court trial

Yet another issue has arisen in the legal fight over Pakistan's military courts. The Registrar of the Supreme Court has rejected a petition in which the father of a young man sentenced to death by a military court on the ground that the relief -- access to the case record -- should have been sought in a lower court. Counsel for the petitioner has stated that he will ask the Supreme Court to overturn the Registrar's decision. Details are available here thanks to The Express Tribune. Excerpt:
“Although the fact is that by avoiding to deliver necessary copies of documents to the convict … is departure from the fundamental right of the convict to be dealt with in accordance with law and is also against Article 10-A of the Constitution which guarantees fair trial,” [Zulfiqar Bhutta, counsel for the petitioner] said.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is also considering filing a petition for ensuring fair trial as well as right of appeal to the persons, who have been convicted by the military courts.
As will be recalled, § 133B(3) of the Pakistan Army Act, 1952 states: "The decision of a Court of Appeals shall be final and shall not be called in question before any court or other authority whatsoever." The latest case could test the validity of that provision.

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