Military Court Case: Farogh Naseem represents Prime Minister Shehbaz in SC

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By Webdesk

Former Attorney General Senator Farogh Naseem addresses the media in his office in this undated photo.  — APP/File
Former Attorney General Senator Farogh Naseem addresses the media in his office in this undated photo. — APP/File

In a surprise move, former Attorney General Attorney Dr. Farogh Naseem, representing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the Supreme Court as the Supreme Court will resume oral arguments against the trials of civilians in military courts on Monday (tomorrow).

A seven-member bench – headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Judge Ijaz ul Ahsan, Judge Mansoor Ali Shah, Judge Muneeb Akhtar, Judge Yahya Afridi, Judge Ayesha Malik and Judge Mazahir Ali Naqvi – is set to resume consideration of a series of petitions against trial of civilians in military courts tomorrow.

According to the details, Prime Minister Shehbaz has appointed Naseem as his counsel in the matter.

The government had decided to try civilians under army law after angry protesters from Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) destroyed army installations following the arrest of their party chief.

The petitions, filed separately by PTI Chairman Imran Khan, former Chief Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, senior lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan, and five members of civil society, including Piler Executive Director Karamat Ali, have asked the apex court to declare the military trials unconstitutional .

At the previous hearing, CJP Bandial noted that the apex court would look at the basis of which the judge of the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) shifted the cases related to the May 9 riots to military courts.

CJP Bandial quoted Judge Shah as saying that the military is directly affected in relation to matters such as national security.

“Provoking a serving Army officer for conspiracy against national security was a serious crime,” CJP noted, adding that revision of the Army Act clauses was not necessary.

“It was not correct to say that the civilians can never be tried in the military courts. A civilian is tried in the military court if he incites the army to treason.”

It should be examined what method has been used to bring civilians under the jurisdiction of military courts, and on what basis the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) has referred the cases to the military courts, he added.

Govt to ‘challenge’ SC hearing

The government has decided tomorrow (Monday) to challenge the constitutional and legal status of a seven-member session of the SC, hearing pleas against civilians’ trial in military courts.

According to The newsSpecial Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) for accountability Irfan Qadir will appear in court on behalf of Defense Minister Khawaja Asif when the latter resumes the hearing.

The bank has given notices to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Defense Minister Asif in the matter. While Shah Khawar was to represent the Home Minister in court.

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