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Tuesday May 30 2017

SC bench recuses itself from hearing case appealing military court sentence


ISLAMABAD: A three-member bench of the Supreme Court has recused itself from hearing the petitions appealing sentences handed over by military courts.

The bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, was hearing a petition filed by three suspects Nadeem Abbas, Jehangir Haider and Zeeshan, who were handed over death sentence by a military court in Quetta in August 2016 and are locked up in the Mach prison.

The three judges, including Justice Dost Muhammad and Justice Qazi Faez Isa, said that they cannot take up the case as they had dissented in the verdict of the case against military courts in 2015.

The Supreme Court on August 5, 2015 had rejected all applications challenging the 18th and 21st Constitutional amendments, ruling in favour of the establishment of military courts in the country.

Justice Khosa while explaining the reason for not taking the case said that the three judges had written a dissenting note in the military courts verdict, which had termed the establishment of these courts in conflict of the Constitution. This is why none of us would want to hear the case, the judge said.

A 17-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Nasirul Mulk had reserved the verdict on the 35 identical applications against the two constitutional amendments on June 27, 2015.

The bench had dismissed the petitions challenging the 21st amendment with 11 judges voting to reject the pleas and six in favour.

The three-member bench has sent the appeal against the death sentences to the Chief Justice to assign another bench to conduct hearing on the case.

The court has asked the petitioners’ lawyer to file an application with the Chief Justice requesting him to refer the case to a different bench.