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Pakistan SC allows military trials in terrorism cases

ISLAMABAD: In a landmark judgement, Pakistan’s Supreme Court today dismissed petitions against establishment of controversial special military courts in the country for speedy trial of terrorists.

The apex court dismissed several identical petitions against the 21st constitutional amendment by the parliament which set up the military courts.

In a majority 11-6 vote, the 17-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk upheld parliament’s decision.

Parliament adopted the 21st amendment and the Pakistan Army Act, 1952 in January to set special courts after the deadly Taliban attack on a military school in Peshawar that killed over 150 people, mostly children.

The military courts had awarded death sentence to six accused and life imprisonment to one when their working was suspended on April 16 by the court after taking up petitions.

The hearing was completed on June 26 but the court had reserved the judgement.

Earlier, the court had combined total 31 petitions challenged the powers of parliament to legislate on various issues.

There were 15 petitions against the 21st amendment.

Today’s verdict is the last major decision by Chief Justice Mulk who is set to retire on August 16.

The decision will lift the ban on military court which now can hold speedy trial of militants involved in heinous crimes.


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