SC Bench To Review Military Courts Stumbles At First Hearing

SC Bench To Review Military Courts Stumbles At First Hearing
The nine-member bench formed to review the creation of military courts to try civilians for May 9, 2023, incidents collapsed at the first hearing.

The bench, which was formed late on Wednesday evening, convened in the Supreme Court on Thursday morning.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial chaired the proceedings. Other members of the bench included Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Ayesha A Malik.

However, soon after the hearing started, senior puisne judge Justice Isa, whose appointment as the next chief justice of Pakistan was approved by President Arif Alvi less than 24 hours ago, noted that he was abruptly informed of his inclusion in the bench at 8 pm on Wednesday.

He added that eight judges had stopped the implementation of such a law which had yet to become law.

Justice Isa further remarked that the Practice and Procedure Act 2023 was part of the law and that he would conduct hearings as per the constitution and law in line with his oath.

He also mentioned how an order given on March 5 was annulled through a circular on March 31.

Subsequently, Justice Isa announced his decision to not sit in any of the hearings till the fate of the Practice and Procedure Bill is decided.

At this, Latif Khosa asked where the country's citizens would go if he did not hear the case.

Justice Sardar Tariq remarked that no one had thought of the people before.

He added that he did not recognize the nine-member bench either and proceeded to disassociate himself from it.

After this, the two judges left the hearing.

Earlier, at the beginning of the proceedings, Justice Bandial greeted Latif Khosa warmly, noting it was good to see him.

Khosa responded in kind.

However, this prompted an observation from Justice Isa.

Khosa argued that they must be allowed to express their feelings.

However, Justice Isa observed that this could be done outside the courtroom because the court is not a political forum.