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SC rejects petition to form forum for hearing appeals against military courts’ verdicts

By Sohail Khan
January 30, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday dismissed a petition seeking formation of a special forum led by serving or retired judges for taking up appeals filed against the decisions of military courts.

Inamul Rahim, advocate, had filed a petition in the apex court wherein it was prayed for formation of a special forum headed by serving or retired judges of the apex court for hearing appeals of army personnel against the decision of military courts.

Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, the senior-most judge of the apex court, while hearing the instant petition in the chamber, dismissed the petition for not being maintainable as the petitioner has no locus standai.During the hearing, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar asked the petitioner Inamul Rahim as to whether he is a victim of a military court.

The petitioner replied in the negative but contended that he has been the counsel in all those cases challenging the conviction of military courts before the high courts; however, these petitions were dismissed by the high courts under Article 199 (C) in limini.

He contended that the high courts had held that they cannot interfere in the decisions awarded by the military courts. He further stated that the persons tried by the military courts were not allowed to be represented by a counsel and even they were not allowed to produce their witnesses in their defence.

“This is an injustice going on for which I have approached the Supreme Court for the formation of a special forum to take up appeals against the verdict of military courts,” Inamul Rahim told the court.

He further said that in certain cases, the high courts dismissed the petitions under Article 199(C) then they approached the Supreme Court and the apex court had remanded those matters back to the high courts with the direction to decide the matters on merit.

But we will entertain petitions, filed by aggrieved persons, and you are not one, Justice Mian Saqib Nisar told the petitioner.

Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed that persons convicted by military courts have right of appeal before the Supreme Court and high courts if they were not allowed to have their counsels or denied fair trial.Meanwhile, the court dismissed the petition for not being maintainable and having no locus standi.