Updated March 28th, 2024 at 17:30 IST

Pakistan: Supreme Court Allows Military Courts to Conditionally Announce May 9 Riot Verdicts

Pakistan's apex court had previously ruled that the trying of civilians in military courts is against the constitution.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Supreme Court of Pakistan | Image:AP

Islamabad: Pakistan's Supreme Court, on Thursday, said that it would conditionally allow the nation's military courts to announce the verdicts of those May 9 riot suspects who would be released ahead of the upcoming Eid festival. During a March 25 hearing, the Supreme Court had directed the government to provide it details regarding the trials of those May 9 riot suspects who were being tried in military courts for their alleged role in attacks on military installations during the riot. 

In total, 103 civilians are being tried in military courts for their role in such attacks. 


Previously, a five-member bench of the Supreme Court had declared the trying of accused civilians in military courts as being against the constitution of the country and had recommended civilian trials for the accused. 

A series of intra-court appeals (ICAs) filed by the then-caretaker federal government and the provinces of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab as well as the defence ministry led the court to suspend its previous verdict on December 13 of last year. 


During the recent March 25 hearing, as noted above, the court had sought details of those facing military trials. It ordered that it be informed about “how many suspects could be acquitted and how many could not be”, adding that all details be submitted by March 28.

It also sought information on the suspects who were to be sentenced for shorter periods. “The stay order on the military courts’ case will be amended according to the summary,” it noted.


During today’s hearing, the court after hearing arguments gave conditional permission to military courts to announce the reserved verdicts. “Only verdict in those cases be announced in which the nominated suspects could be released before Eid,” the court ruled.

The attorney general also informed the court that about 20 suspects may be released after completion of their trial and other formalities, including concession in the sentence by the army chief.


The court noted the assurances by Awan that those with lesser sentences would be given legal concessions. The court further said that permission to decide further appeals would be subject to the final decision on the appeals against the Oct 23 ruling.

The court also directed the attorney general to submit a report on the issue to the registrar and adjourned the hearing until the last week of April.


With inputs from PTI. 


Published March 28th, 2024 at 17:30 IST