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A Supreme Court Bench Wants Details Of The Evidence Against 73 People Convicted By Military Courts

The Supreme Court has asked for details of the evidence against 73 people who were convicted by military courts. A three-judge bench consisting of Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan was hearing a plea by the Defence Ministry against the Peshawar High Court’s earlier acquittal of convicts.

Defending the procedure adopted by military courts, Additional Attorney General Sajid Ilyas Bhatti stated that such courts allowed for convicts challenging their decisions. He also reiterated that military court verdicts were in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

The Additional Attorney General also claimed that the Peshawar High Court had ignored both the Constitution and realities by acquitting 73 people convicted by military courts. He also emphasized that military courts themselves acquitted some people for lack of evidence.

However, Justice Munib Akhtar noted that an FIR and a confession did not constitute sufficient evidence. He also stated that a confession made before military personnel held no value as evidence, since this can only be done in the presence of a magistrate.

The Attorney General reiterated the need for considering the special circumstances in such cases since witnesses hesitated to offer testimony against terrorists. He also emphasized that military courts had been originally constituted by Parliament while keeping this in consideration.

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