Establishment of Military Courts Upheld by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Pakistan dismissed petitions against the formation of military courts with majority votes.  The decision, 11-6, managed to dismiss the petitions against the 21st constitutional amendment, in which military courts have been formed to try militants. In addition, in a 14-3 decision, a 17-judge bench also dismissed petitions against the necessary procedure of appointment of judges.

Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk said that, “In view of the respective opinions recorded above, by a majority of 13 to 4 these Constitution petitions are held to be maintainable. By a majority of 14 to 3 the Constitution petitions challenging the Constitution (18th Amendment) Act (Act X of 2010) are dismissed, while by majority of 11 to 6 the Constitution petitions challenging the Constitution (21st Amendment) Act (Act 1 of 2015) and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act (Act II of 2015) are dismissed.”

After legal wrangling, the supreme court is to announce ruling on three questions:

1. Whether the Constitution has a basic structure or not;
2. If it has a basic structure then whether a constitutional amendment can be struck down on the basis of it;
3. Whether the parliament has the power to alter the basic structure of the Constitution.

The judgement was announced by the two-judge bench which was headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk and Justice Dost Muhammad Khan.