Military trial of civilians: SC orders AGP to ensure meetings of prisoners with families
ISLAMABAD: (Suno News) The Supreme Court on Monday ordered Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan to address the complaints of the families of the May 9 accused if they are not being allowed to meet their incarcerated loved ones.

A seven-member apex court bench passed the order during the hearing on the intra-court petitions filed against civilians’ trials in military courts.

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In October 2023, the apex court declared the trial of civilians in military courts as unconstitutional and held that 103 persons and others could be tried by criminal courts, established under the ordinary or special law of the land.

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court suspended its October 23 order by a 5-1 majority, wherein it had declared civilians’ trials in military courts null and void.

On Monday, the seven-member bench, headed by Justice Aminuddin and comprising Justice Jamal Mandokhail, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Hassan Azhar Rizvi, Justice Shahid Waheed, Justice Musarrat Hilali and Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, passed the order remarking that "the families have said that they haven t been meeting with the prisoners. The attorney general should address these complaints.”

Afterwards, the court adjourned the hearing until July 11.

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In May the apex court had referred the case to Procedure Committee for reconstitution of the bench.

Khawaja Ahmad Hasan, representing petitioner Jawad S Khawaja, had raised an objection on the bench, saying that a larger bench should be constituted in light of Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi s note.

On January 29, Justice Tariq Masood recused himself from hearing intra-court appeals against civilians’ trial in military court, leading to the dissolution of a six-member larger bench.

May 9 cases were registered pertaining to the violent protests that broke out in different parts of the country after the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan in a corruption case last year. The party supporters had allegedly then attacked and ransacked government and military installations, prompting the authorities to try the rioters in military courts.