SC stays release of 68 suspects convicted by military courts



Staff Report


Supreme Court of Pakistan has suspended the Peshawar High Court order for freeing 68 suspects tried and convicted by military courts upon charges of terrorism.

Peshawar High Court had set aside the sentence of 68 suspects tried by military courts and ordered to set them free.

SC took up the case for hearing on Friday.

During the course of hearing, Additional Attorney- General prayed court that Peshawar High Court didn’t review the facts correctly as suspects were involved in heinous crimes like terrorism therefore the sentences handed by military courts should be restored.

On prayer of Attorney-General Apex Court while stopping implementation of PHC orders halted the release of suspects and ordered to Jail superintendent not to release the suspects.

Court has further adjourned the hearing indefinitely.

Earlier in November, the SC restrained authorities from releasing over 70 individuals who were convicted by military courts on the charge of militant activities.

The Ministry of Defence had filed an appeal against the PHC verdict that set aside convictions of 73 persons convicted by military courts on terrorism charges, including suicide attacks and killing of law enforcement personnel and civilians.

AAG Bhatti had appeared before the bench and stated that the cases which have been dealt under Army Act could not be considered through ordinary laws, adding that the PHC while deciding the matter overlooked certain principles.

After a brief hearing, the bench restrained the federal government to release individuals. The bench while issuing notices to respondents has adjourned the hearing for an indefinite period.

It is pertinent to note that PHC suspended the convictions awarded by military courts in various cases. The chief of the army staff had confirmed the death sentence of the convicts, however, the families of the convicts had challenged the order in the court which stayed their execution.