SC moved to seek details of military court proceedings

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ISLAMABAD: Three days after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of military courts, the father of a condemned prisoner has approached the top court seeking direction to military authorities to provide copies of all relevant documents of the trial proceedings of his son who was sentenced to death by a military court in Swat, so that he can file a petition in the superior judiciary against the conviction.

Zahir Shah, father of Haider Ali, filed a petition on Saturday in the apex court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution through Advocate Zulifiqar Ahmed Bhutta. On August 5, the Supreme Court had dismissed petitions against the establishment of military courts to try terrorists.

The Federation of Pakistan through the defence secretary, GOC Malakand; in-charge Interment Centre at Paithom, Guilibagh, Swat; Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa (K-P) government through the secretary home and tribal affairs, IG Prisons K-P and Superintendent District Jail Timergera, have been made respondents in the petition.

The petitioner prayed the apex court to direct the respondents to provide him copies of all necessary documents of the military court proceedings pertaining to his son.

Meanwhile, Kamran Murtaza, the counsel for the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) in the 21st Constitutional Amendment case, said the bar would also request the superior judiciary to ensure justice for those convicted by the military courts. “The SCBA will evolve its future course of action on the August 5 verdict soon,” he added.

The petitioner contended that his son Haider Ali at the time of his arrest on September 21, 2009, was about 14 years and eight months old (a juvenile) and was a student of Class X at Malakand Public School, Sirsani Kabbal, Swat.

The petitioner also said the recent judgment passed in the constitutional petitions, legal rights of the accused to file a plea against illegalities of military courts under the 21st amendment are not prohibited.

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