Thursday June 13, 2024

Judicial system, legal lacunas responsible for delay in May 9 trials: Sanaullah

PM's adviser says process of justice should have been expedited via "summary trials" of May 9 culprits

By Web Desk
May 09, 2024
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference. — APP/File
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference. — APP/File

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Political and Public Affairs Rana Sanaullah on Thursday held the judicial system and legal lacunas responsible for delay in punishing May 9 culprits even after a year.

Riots broke out in many parts of the country, especially in Rawalpindi, with charged mobs vandalising private and public properties including military installations following Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan’s arrest on this day last year.

As the country marks one-year anniversary of the violent protests, senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lamented the delay in trials of the May 9 accused, saying that the authority of the superior courts taking suo motu notices has worsened matters in the country.

“It was just a simple procedure, which should have been adopted, that the people [linked to May 9 protests] should have undergone summary trial and conviction within 30-90 days,” Sanaullah said while speaking on the Geo News programme Capital Talk on Thursday.

He referred to the former government and the army’s decision to try the May 9 accused in military courts and failure in holding military trials owing to stay and petitions that prolonged the matter.

"This suo motu has scuppered the country's boat," the former security czar said.

When asked if the inquiry report prepared by the former caretaker prime minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar’s government had any solid evidence against the May 9 perpetrators, Sanaullah said that he didn’t value the document to this level.

“However, the evidence for May 9 incidents is so clear that there isn’t any doubt about it,” he added.

Sanaullah said that the reason cases were also facing delays in anti-terrorism courts was that the "judiciary is free and there is no interference from any executive".

Responding to a question regarding the Islamabad High Court judges’ claims about being pressurised by “agencies”, the former federal minister said that lawyer associations and bars also put pressure.

“The judge should be strong and upright,” he said, adding that no one could pressurise those "who are such personalities".

Sanaullah further said that three more years would pass "if a judicial commission is formed to probe the May 9 events". He also called for reforms in the justice system.

It may be noted that the PTI has been calling for a judicial inquiry into the May 9 violence, which refers to violent protests triggered by the arrest of deposed prime minister Imran Khan in a corruption case from the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

During the protests, alleged PTI supporters damaged public and private properties and also attacked military installations in different parts of the country.