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Pakistan SC stays acquittal of 68 terrorists convicted by military courts

The court also issued notices to the parties and adjourned the case indefinitely

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

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Pakistan's Supreme Court Friday ordered the authorities to restrain from acquitting 68 terrorists convicted by military courts on terrorism charges.

The release of the convicts was earlier ordered by the High Court (PHC).

All 68 were sentenced by the military courts in different cases but they challenged the conviction in the PHC which on October 18 overturned the sentence and ordered the authorities to set them free.

The acquittal order was challenged by the Defence Ministry on behalf of army in the Supreme Court, where a two-member bench headed by Justice Azmat Saeed heard the case.

Additional Attorney General Sajid Ilyas Bhatti told the apex court that the high court failed to take into account the accurate review of the facts.

He argued that all convicts were involved in acts of militancy and were convicted by the military courts after due process of law.

The court after hearing argument ordered jail authorities that convicts be released until final adjudication of the appeal.

The court also issued notices to the parties and adjourned the case indefinitely.

The military courts were set up for speedy trial of militants after they attacked an Army-run school in in December 2014 and killed around 150 people, mostly students.

The military courts work in secrecy and their decision are made public when endorsed by the Army Chief.

However, details like venue and dates of trial and officials involved are withheld due to security reasons.

First Published: Fri, November 09 2018. 23:00 IST