Published On: Thu, Mar 27th, 2014
Published in Category: Islamabad

Khuzdar Mass Grave Case: Serving military officers can be tried only in military courts, says SC

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ISLAMABAD: Justice Amir Hani Muslim has remarked “ the serving army officers can be tried only in military courts and Supreme Court (SC) can be approached against the decision of military courts.

A 2-member bench of SC presided over by Justice Amir Hani Muslim resumed the hearing of Balochistan missing persons case Wednesday.

He further remarked “ Zakir Majid has been shown as absconding in the books of law. The court can not include him in missing persons list. It is beyond our jurisdiction to send the case to Supreme Court (SC) Quetta registry for hearing and application can be given to Chief Justice of Pakistan in this respect.

He observed “ steps will have to be taken at all levels to rein in violence in Balochistan. Recovery of missing persons is must. Dealing with those involved in disrupting the peace of the country with iron hand in consonance with law is need of hour.

Presenting the report pertaining to DNA test of 14 dead bodies under the court’s orders Advocate General (AG) Balochistan told the court 44 samples have been obtained in respect of 14 dead bodies and sent to Punjab Forensic Laboratory. It is very difficult and impossible to match these samples in a week. Laboratory has sought time line ranging between 4 to 5 weeks for this job. Balochistan government has sent a letter to government of Punjab for ensuring laboratory test expeditiously.

Irfan Qadir counsel for FC told the court provincial government had accorded approval for initiation of proceedings against army officers who are suspected to be involved in enforced disappearance under army act and the matter was sent to military authorities.

He further told that his meeting with chief secretary has not taken place so far, therefore, he can say nothing about any progress in respect of missing persons matter.

Nasrullah Baloch, chairman of social organization told the court he would not be able to seek justice if cases run in the military courts.

The court observed “Whether military courts convict military officers or release them , the aggrieved party has the right to resort to SC in both such cases and they have the right to appeal. You were to file application in tribunal and you have not given this application.

Nasrullah said Zakir Majid is case of enforced disappearance.

The court remarked he is absconding and not missing. He obtained bail in six heinous cases in 2008 and later he fled. We can not declare him missing. If you have objection over the high court decision then you can file appeal in SC.

The court has sought reply from Punjab government within two weeks on delay in DNA test and issued notice to advocate general Punjab to appear before it in person after two weeks.

The court has also sought detailed reply from chief secretary Balochistan on non recovery of missing persons besides directing him to hold joint meeting with FC counsel Irfan Qadir and advocate general Balochistan with reference to missing persons and present its report before it.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);