Military courts: Ex-CJP wants appeals against SC verdict heard by larger bench

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ISLAMABAD: Former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Jawad S Khwaja Thursday requested the Supreme Court to constitute a larger bench – comprising seven members — to hear the intra court appeals (ICAs) filed against the apex court judgment declaring the trial of civilians in military court as unconstitutional.

Justice Khwaja, one of the petitioners, challenging the trial of civilians in military courts, filed an application with the apex court for constituting a lawful and larger bench in accordance with Section 5 of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023 under Order XXXIII Rule 6 of the Supreme Court Rules 1980 and other enabling provisions of law.

The former chief justice prayed the apex court to (a) declare that the present bench had not been constituted by the committee as required under the 2023 Act; (b) declare that the present Bench is not a lawful and larger Bench under Section 5 of the 2023 Act since it comprised a judge who had previously heard the original petition and passed a note/order deciding one of the issues; (c) refer the matter back to the committee for implementation of its decision to constitute a bench comprising the seven senior most eligible judges to hear these appeals.

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