ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has got the services of former law minister Farogh Naseem in the case against the trial of civilians in the military courts.
The Supreme Court’s seven-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial will hear cases against the proceedings of military courts. The apex court has already issued notices to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, all four provinces, the Attorney General of Pakistan and the PTI chairman.
In the upcoming hearing of the case, Farogh Naseem will appear before the larger bench on behalf of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, while Irfan Qadir will represent Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and senior lawyer Shah Khawar will appear on behalf of Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah.
Earlier, a seven-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, conducted hearing of the petitions challenging trial of civilians in military courts.
As the hearing resumed, Latif Khosa advanced his argument on behalf of petitioner Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan. Latif Khosa said the formation commanders during their meeting had decided to try the perpetrators of May 9 attacks in military courts. A declaration to the effect was also issued which was posted on ISPR website too.
He maintained that the declaration was against Article 10-A of the Constitution of Pakistan. Mr Khosa also read out the declaration in court. Mr Khosa said as per formation commanders they had irrefutable evidence against May 9 perpetrators.
The Supreme Court sought the record of all those arrested in the country post-May 9, when violent protests broke out in the country following the arrest of the PTI chairman.
The SC bench also refused to grant a stay order on the decision to conduct trials of civilians in the military courts. CJP Bandial said that the apex court would first hear arguments from the attorney general on this matter.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial had reconstituted a seven-member bench hearing appeals against trial of civilians in military courts after senior judges Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Tariq Masood recused themselves from hearing the case.
The new seven-member bench, headed by Bandial, comprises Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Ayesha Malik, Justice Mazahar Ali Naqvi, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa, at the outset of the hearing, said he wanted to give some observations when senior lawyer Latif Khosa requested to start hearing of the case and said he was pleased over hearing of the case. Justice Isa asked Khosa to express his pleasure outside court as it was not a political forum.
Justice Isa then remarked that his order was set aside through a circular passed by the registrar. Justice Isa further remarked that he was not detaching himself from the bench but he did not consider the larger bench hearing pleas against military courts a proper one. He was also of the view that all benches hearing cases had no legal backing without a final ruling on the Practice and Procedure Bill.