Military courts get reserved verdicts on May 9 in violence cases

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May 9 violence cases, In a decision issued on Thursday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court has given its blessing to the military courts so they can announce reserved verdicts in some of the cases relating to the violent incidents which occurred on May 9, 2023 as specified by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court recently heard a set of intra-court appeals (ICAs) against its ruling nullifying the military trials of civilians involved in the May 9 riots, which was ruled by Justice Aminuddin Khan along with Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Syed Azhar Hasan Rizvi, Justice Shahid Waheed, Justice Musarrat Hilali and Justice Irfan Saadat Khan.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court issued its order after the country’s Attorney General, Mansoor Usman Awan, made a request to have the military courts announce verdicts that had already been decided, yet had not been revealed (reserved verdicts), after the military courts refused to announce the verdicts. In some cases by the court, the accused has been released before the upcoming Eid holiday, but not in other cases.

As this morning’s hearing came to a close, the court shared with the jurors that the AGP assured that those with lesser sentences would also be granted statutory concessions, and the permission to pronounce judgment would be subject to final decisions on appeals.

Furthermore, the court was also instructed to submit a report to the registrar concerning the implementation of the case and also required the AGP to provide details about those who were sentenced to less than three years in prison.

After the hearing was adjourned, it was scheduled to take place in the fourth week of April.

The Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, in his address to the AGP at the hearing of the case, said: “We look forward to releasing them three to four days before Eid.”.

As the SC judge asked Awan, “Yes, we’ll give it our best shot.” Awan replied, “Yes, we’ll make an effort.”.

It is important to mention that Faisal Siddiqui, a lawyer who represents one of the clients who are challenging military trials, fears that those released could get arrested again for violating 3 MPO after they come out of prison.

There have been reports that the AGP will release 20 people before Eid this year. It has been stated that in order for 20 people to be released, three steps have to be followed.

The first step he stated would be for the reserved judgement to be announced, the second step would be for the reserved judgement to be confirmed, and the third step would be for the chief of army staff to offer leniency to those with lesser sentences.

Additionally, he added that those who were acquitted and had their sentences reduced would be released with concessions on their sentences.

As a result of the AGP’s request to pronounce a reserved verdict for the accused, the court was informed that 105 accused were in the custody of the army.

As Justice Aminuddin Khan explained, even if permission is granted by the court, the final decision on the appeals will be subject to the judgment of the appeals court.

AGP Hasan Azhar Rizvi has requested that the names of the accused who are to be released be divulged by the justice. As a response, the AGP said that until the verdict was delivered, he could not reveal the names until the military courts had issued their verdict.

Awan said that punishments of one year will be discounted for those whose punishments are one year.

Aitzaz Ahsan, a senior lawyer and one of the petitioners involved in the case, has expressed his disappointment over the AGP’s decision.

Timenews1 provided that news.

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