ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court has formed a five-member bench to take up review petitions challenging the trial of civilians in military courts on October 23. Simultaneously, a three-member bench will address petitions advocating for elections within 90 days on the same date.
As per the cause lists released on Friday, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan will lead the bench for the military courts case, accompanied by Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Ayesha Malik, Justice Yahya Afridi, and Justice Mazahar Naqvi.
Conversely, Justice Qazi Faez Isa will head a bench with Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Athar Minallah to hear petitions urging elections to be conducted within a 90-day timeframe.
This development follows a statement by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, suggesting that both the military court case and general elections could be addressed ‘soon.’
The military courts case last was heard on August 3 by the bench headed by then the Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial. The attorney general had reassured the court that civilians would not be tried without prior notification to the Supreme Court.
All five judges in the upcoming bench were part of the previous bench with Justice Bandial. This bench led by Justice Bandial had undergone dissolution and reconstitution twice due to judges recusing themselves from the case.
The petitions before the court request a directive stating that civilians should not be subjected to military court trials as they do not guarantee a fair trial. The issue arose when individuals accused of involvement in the May 9 riots were transferred to military courts for attacking state institutions.