PESHAWAR, 5 August: A 17-member full court bench of the Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed all the petitions, challenging the establishment of military courts under 21st amendment to the Constitution.

Six members of the bench, however, dissented with the majority decision of 11 judges. Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, who was presiding over the bench, and Justice Dost Muhammad Khan announced the judgment.

Supreme Court Bar Association, Lahore High Court Bar Association and a number of lawyers’ bodies, had challenged the establishment of military courts before the top court of the country.

They took the plea in their respective petitions that setting up of military courts is akin to establishing a parallel judicial system. Besides, it is violation of fundamental human rights and ultra vires of the spirit of the Constitution.

Justice Jawwad S Khwaja stated in his dissenting note that Parliament does not have unlimited powers to amend the Constitution. He added that elected representatives have no powers to amend the Constitution or make fresh legislation repugnant to the principles of democracy and independence of judiciary.

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