Supreme Court Dismisses Petitions Against 18th, 21st Amendments

Islamabad (Neo Web Desk)  The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Wednesday has rejected pleas challenging 18th and 21st Amendments, upholding establishment of military courts and annulled restraining order in death sentences.

Pleas against 18th Amendment were filed in April 2010. The SC had postponed the matter after giving an order in the matter in October 2010. However, the military and political leaderships had agreed on establishment of army courts for speedy trials and sentences of terrorists after Peshawar massacre on December 16 2014.

On January 7 2015, the Parliament had passed Amendment in Army Act and 21st Amendment. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Nasirul Mulk held first hearing of pleas challenging military courts on January 27.

A total of 32 pleas were heard by the bench. However, the SC ordered joint hearing of all the pleas challenging the Amendments. On February 24, a three-member bench led by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali recommended the SC to form a full-court-bench for the matter.

On April 3, the CJ complied to the recommendation and formed a full-court-bench. Later on April 16, the court issued a restraining order halting executions of as many as six terrorists sentenced by military courts.

The SC had reserved the verdict in the matter after at least 30 hearings.

As many as 14 judges upheld 18th Amendment thus by majority, the SC rejected the pleas. While at least six judges wrote in favour of the pleas.

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