Superior judiciary dismisses 35 petitions against armed forces
September 30, 2011
Superior judiciary has dismissed 35 petitions of 52 military men and civilians filed against the armed forces in last 5 years, the documents submitted by the Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch to the Lahore High Court (LHC), Rawalpindi bench, in General Headquarters (GHQ) attack case, revealed.
According to the documents, Superior judiciary, including the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP), Federal Shariat Court (FST) and Lahore High Court (LHC), upholds the Field General Court Marshal (FGCM) decision in the petitions of army officers, soldiers and the civilians due to the bar of jurisdiction under clause 3 of Article 199 of the Constitution.
As many as 14 officers, including a Colonel, Lt-Colonel, 5 Majors, 4 Captains, a Lieutenant, a Chief Tech and a Senior Tech, were among the petitioners.
The Chief Tech, Khalid Mehmood, was one of those 12 airmen and civilians who were awarded the death penalty from the FGCM on the charges of carrying out an attack on former president General (retired) Pervez Musharraf on December 14, 2004, near Jhanda Chichi, Rawalpindi.
The document stated that these 12 individuals were “awarded death punishment by FGCM and their writ petitions were dismissed by different benches of Lahore High Court” due to the constitutional bar,” adding that “leave to appeal was granted to them by the apex court, however, on September, 2006, after detailed arguments, their petitions were dismissed by the apex court bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohmmad Chaudhry, Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and Justice Saiyed Saeed Ashad” due to the said constitutional bar.
JAG branch, in its written reply to the petition of Wajid Mehmood, one of the convicted of GHQ attack case, contended that “the petitioner was provided full opportunity for his defence. He was provided with the services of defending officer free-of-cost by the army in the light of Pakistan Army Act (PAA) rule 81.
The reply said: “The PAA is a special law which provides separate and independent procedure for trial and awarding sentence. Special laws have overriding effects due to their special form of procedure prescribed; the transparency/credibility of the trial by FGCM has been applauded by the Supreme Court of Pakistan vide PLD 1996 SC 672”, it added.
Colonel (retired) Inam ur Rehman, counsel for Wajid Mehmood, said that the JAG branch in its report admitted that the cases of those army men and civilians who were subject to PAA section 2(1)(d) were heard by the superior judiciary.