ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has rejected petitions filed against the 18th and 21st constitutional amendments, and ordered to keep the military courts intact.
A 17-member bench of the apex court headed by the Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk announced the verdict on Wednesday after it had reserved its decision in the case on June 26.
Out of 17 judges of the apex court, 11 gave their decision in favour of 21st constitutional amendment while 14 judges gave their verdict in favour of 18th amendment.
In the Supreme Court, 24 applications were submitted with reference to 18th constitution amendment while 17 applications challenged 21st constitutional amendment.
The Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had challenged the 18th and 21st amendments to the constitution.
“It’s a very disappointing verdict by the apex court. The court just upheld the doctrine of necessity. We are going to file a review petition against this judgment,” the former SCBA President Kamran Murtaza said.
The 21st constitutional amendment was passed by the Parliament in January 2015 as part of the national action plan against terrorism adopted in the wake of terror attack that hit the army public school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014.
Under the 21st constitutional amendment, military courts established across the country for speedy trial of certain offences relating to terrorism were given legal cover.
The 18th constitutional amendment was passed by the Parliament during the last the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government which introduced a new procedure for the appointment of superior court judges.