A petition calling for a full court hearing on the contentious issue of military trials of civilians has been turned down by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. This pivotal verdict was declared by a six-judge bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial.
Senior Counsel Faisal Siddiqi had previously proposed a full court hearing, an idea that met strong resistance from almost all lawyers representing the petitioners. Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, one of the petitioners, characterized the plea for a full court as a potential obstruction to a defining moment in the nation’s judiciary history.
As the session concluded, the Chief Justice indicated that the judgment on the constitution of a full court would be made public within a day. During the proceeding on Wednesday, Justice Bandial underlined the court’s deliberations on the call for a full court but acknowledged that a full bench assembly wasn’t possible until September.
Justice Bandial also recollected the formation of larger benches on two occasions to hear these petitions. He made a strong statement, “Our work will continue irrespective of external approval,” asserting the judiciary’s determination to uphold justice.
The treatment of the 102 suspects in military custody was also addressed during the proceedings. Pakistan’s Attorney General, Mansoor Usman Awan, gave assurances to the court regarding the well-being and fair treatment of all suspects. He confirmed, “We have guaranteed the dignity and respect of all 102 detainees.”
He further reassured the court that none of the suspects had been subjected to ill-treatment and that they had been provided with adequate medical care. Awan confirmed that any ill-treatment if reported, would be promptly dealt with.
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