The interim federal and provincial governments of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan on Friday filed intra-court appeals against last month’s Supreme Court judgment nullifying the military trials of civilians arrested in connection with the May 9 riots.
Additionally, the Ministry of Defense and the Shuhada Forum have also urged the apex court to reverse its ruling and restore sections of the Official Secrets Act that were declared illegal. The Sindh caretaker government had similarly filed a plea on Thursday, but on Saturday it issued a statement denying it had done so.
Last month, a five-member bench of the Supreme Court declared the trials of civilians in military courts null and void and admitted petitions challenging the trial of civilians involved in the May 9 riots. Arguing against the ruling, the federal government urged the court to declare it null and void and also issue a stay order against its implementation until a decision had been issued on its appeal. It objected to the five-member bench that had issued the ruling, stating it was not constituted as per the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 and as such its proceedings and verdict were invalid.
In its appeal, the Ministry of Defense urged the apex court to restore the sections of the Official Secrets Act that were declared illegal by the bench, adding Section 59(4) of the Army Act should likewise be revived. It argued that nullifying these sections would harm the country.
The PTI, human rights activists and others had approached the Supreme Court earlier this year against military trials of civilians, arguing that they lacked transparency and did not fulfill the fundamental rights of due process. The petitions were motivated by over 100 people affiliated with the PTI facing military trials over their alleged roles in the May 9 riots resulting from the arrest of party chief Imran Khan by NAB in the Toshakhana case.