Sindh govt denies filing plea against SC verdict on military trials of civilians

Centre and provincial govts of Balochistan and KP have challenged the October 23 order of the apex court

Maryam Nawaz
Tariq Moin Siddiqui
An outside view of the Supreme Courts building. — Supreme Court
An outside view of the Supreme Court's building. — Supreme Court

  • CM's spokesperson says these reports are baseless. 
  • Advocate general also rejects reports of filing plea. 
  • KP, Balochistan have also filed appeals against SC. 

KARACHI: The caretaker Sindh government on Saturday denied approaching the Supreme Court against its judgment declaring unconstitutional the trials of civilians in military courts.

"The Sindh government has not filed any appeal to the Supreme Court on military trials. The [claims] are baseless," said interim Chief Minister Maqbool Baqar's spokesperson. 

On November 16, it was reported that the interim government in Sindh and Shuhada Forum, Balochistan separately requested the Supreme Court to set aside its judgment on the military court trials. 

Moreover, the provincial advocate general also rejected reports of filing a plea to the top court against its October 23 judgment, declaring the military trial of civilians arrested in connection with the May 9 mayhem null and void.

A day earlier, the caretaker federal and provincial governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan filed intra-court appeals against the judgment that was hailed by the lawyers and civil rights activists. 

Besides the Centre and provincial governments, the Ministry of Defence also appealed to the top court to revoke its October 23 ruling and restore the sections of the Official Secrets Act that were declared illegal.

On October 23, a five-member bench of the top court declared civilians' trials in military courts null and void as it admitted the petitions challenging the trial of civilians involved in the May 9 riots triggered by the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan in a corruption case.

The SC's larger bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan and comprising Justices Munib Akhtar, Yayha Afridi, Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Ayesha A Malik had announced the verdict.

The top court also held that 103 persons and others who may be placed in relation to the events arising from May 9 and 10 could be tried by criminal courts established under the ordinary or special law of the land.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and others approached the Supreme Court against the military trials on the grounds that they lack transparency.

The decision to use military courts was taken by the government of Shehbaz Sharif, who has since completed his term in August and handed over to a caretaker government that will oversee an election slated for January.

Hundreds of Imran Khan supporters stormed military and government installations, and even torched a general's house, following the former premier's brief arrest by the Punjab Rangers.