Supreme Court Update: Punjab Govt Submits List of 59 Suspects Sent for Trial To Military Courts

Supreme Court Update: Punjab Govt Submits List of 59 Suspects Sent for Trial To Military Courts
The Punjab government on Friday submitted to the Supreme Court a list containing the names of 59 individuals who have been arrested and handed over to military courts for trial over the May 9 incidents in which several military installations across the province were targeted.

A seven-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Ayesha Malik, and Justice Mazahir Ali Naqvi. Originally, this was convened as a nine-member bench to review four petitions against the formulation of military courts to try civilians implicated in the May 9 incidents. However, during its first hearing, two senior judges, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, recused themselves from hearing the case until such time that the Practice and Procedure Act 2023 was decided.

Following orders issued by the hurriedly reconstituted seven-member bench, the Punjab government provided a list of individuals who had been arrested and handed over to the military court.

Of these, 28 were suspects arrested from Lahore, eight from Rawalpindi, ten from Gujranwala, five from Mianwali and eight from Faisalabad.

The Punjab Advocate General told the court that some 6,088 people, including 81 women, were arrested in connection with the May 9 incidents.

Of those arrested, 1,888 people were charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act. At least 108 accused were currently in police detention on physical remand, while 1,247 are in jail on judicial remand.

As many as 500 people were released after initial investigations found them innocent.

The report submitted by the AG further added that as many as 247 cases lodged under laws other than terrorism were registered against the suspects۔ Thus far, some 1,201 people have been acquitted, and 3,012 have been released on bail in various cases

Of the 81 women arrested, the Punjab government told the court that 42 have been released on bail. In comparison, the remaining 39 women remain in jail on judicial remand.