ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court today dismissed appeals made against the death sentence awarded by the military.

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Anwar Zaheer Jamali announced a 182 page judgment, authored by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed.

A five-member bench had reserved judgment on 16 appeals on June 20 after hearing them for two months.

A total 17 appeals were filed but the Laeeq Bacha appeal had been dismissed much earlier. The 16 appeals including Mst Bacha Laiq, Mst Anwar Bibi, Ali-ur-Rehman, Mst Nek Maro, Said Zaman Khan, Sakhi Muhammad, Sher Alam, Mashooqa Bibi, Ajab Gul, Khan Afsar Khan, Javed Iqbal Ghauri, Mohibullah, Fazal Ghafar, Mst Zarba Khelaw, Aqsan Mehboob, Hafiz Muhammad Sadiq, filed on behalf of their dear ones, were dismissed today.

Advocates Asma Jehangir, Abdul Latif Afridi, Khalid Anwar Afridi, Naseemullah Khan, Ahmed Nawaz Chaudhry, Malik Muhammad Akram, Salahuddin Mengal and Ahmed Raza Kasuri had represented the family members of the convicts.

Military courts were established after the 21st Amendment in the constitution and the amendment in the Pakistan Army Act. The court observed that after analyzing the record it seemed that the military courts were established under Pakistan Army Act, 1952.

The court declared that this is not a case of insufficient evidence and the amendment in the constitution and PAA were in view of a particular circumstance.

Attorney General for Pakistan Ashthar Ausaf said that after the judgment the impediment in the conviction of the accused persons involved in the attack on Army Public School, Bannu Jail and Parade Ground was removed.

The counsels of the accused during the hearing had argued that a fair trial was not accorded and the military courts do not have any pre-trial record of the cases and that the convicts were not given opportunity to engage legal counsels of their choice as ensured under section 23 of the Pakistan Army Act 1952.

They had contended that according to the record, the authorities arrested the convicted persons prior to the establishment of the military courts . They were taken into custody under ‘Action in Aid of Civil Power Regulations’ and when the military courts were set up the federal government referred their cases to the military courts .

Additional Advocate General Attique Shah representing the federation had refuted the contentions and said that there was no violation of rule and law. He said that the persons were handed to military courts after the 21st Amendment and Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act 2015, adding that the federal government had referred their cases to military courts .