Friday, December 25, 2015

High courts have limited review power over Pakistani military court cases

In an important ruling, a panel the Supreme Court of Pakistan has remanded 14 cases to the Lahore High Court to determine whether the decisions of military courts fell within the narrow scope of high court appellate review. Excerpt from The Nation:
The court noted that if their cases fall under any of the three grounds – mala fide, without jurisdiction and coram-non-judice (not before a judge), the high courts had powers to hear them. It ruled Justice Hamood-ur-Rehman’s judgment on Zia-ur-Rehman’s case was . . . settled law. 
Justice Azmat [Saeed] said majority judgments in 21st Amendment case permit high courts and the Supreme Court to review the judgment passed by military courts. 
The judge said the apex court in FB Ali vs Federation case, had held the high courts under Article 199 of the Constitution could interfere where proceedings in any court or tribunal are mala fide, without jurisdiction or coram-non-judice.
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Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed remarked if the field general court martial passes an order in a divorce case, a high court could hear appeal against it.

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