ISLAMABAD–The federal government on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court (SC) to withdraw its order for a stay of execution of six men convicted by the recently established military courts.
The government’s response was submitted by Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt. It contended that the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had petitioned in the SC to stay the executions, but it was not an affected party. It added that since the SCBA had no connection with the case and the sentencing, the apex court should not have ordered the halting of death sentences based on the bar association’s request.
The response stated that the matter of establishing military courts under the 21st Constitutional Amendment was already undergoing a trial in the apex court over which no decision had yet been taken. The court should therefore refrain from issuing stay orders until the trial was complete, the government added in its response.
It further said that the apex court should also see whether it had the rightful jurisdiction to order a stay on the executions.
The government said that the establishment of military courts enjoyed national consensus in the Parliament which the apex court should not oppose.
The response also said that families of those slain at the hands of militants would be dismayed if the perpetrators were not brought to justice.
It underscored that preserving the country’s security was the military’s right and it was not the apex court’s place to interfere. The response stressed that the decision would adversely affect the country’s fight against militancy.
On April 16, the Supreme Court had ordered a stay of execution of the six men convicted by military courts, after a petition seeking a halt to the implementation of death sentences awarded by military courts was filed by the SCBA.
“The execution of military courts’ death sentences, those which have already been awarded and those which will be awarded, is suspended,” Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk had told the Supreme Court. He also said those convicted by military courts could appeal against their sentences.
The apex court had also issued a notice to AG Butt in relation to its order.
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