20 ppl released from jail-arrested on 9 May


ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Monday informed the Supreme Court that 20 persons who were arrested and jailed for their involvement in the May 9 violence have been released so that they could celebrate Eidul Fitr with their family, after they served major part of their sentence while the remaining period of their punishment was remitted by Chief of the Army Staff (COAS).

Among them, four belong to Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa while all other 16 hail from Punjab. They were released in the province of KP and Punjab on April 7 and 6, respectively.

The office of the Atto­rney General for Pakis­tan (AGP) furnished a list of 20 individuals before the Supreme Court to be made part of the record.

Earlier on March 28, a six-judge SC bench headed by Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan had modified its Dec 13, 2023 order that suspended the operation of its Oct 23 decision which nullified the military trial of civilians involved in the May 9 violence.

Accor­ding to the amended order, a direction was issued that military courts can commence trials but they will not convict or acquit any suspect until the pendency of government-instituted Intra-Court Appeals (ICAs).

AGP Mansoor Usman Awan had told the SC that as per instructions 20 persons could be released before the coming Eid.

The report furnished before the SC stated that in pursuance to its March 28 directions, the military courts were allowed to resume trial and therefore sentences in cases of lesser punishments were handed down. It said 20 persons were awarded sentences of one year of which 17 have served a period of 10.5 months and three persons have served a period of 9.5 months.

While none of the persons have served out a full period of one year, upon confirmation of their sentence, the remaining period of their punishment was remitted by the COAS under Section 143(1)(i) of the Pakistan Army Act, 1952 (PAA).

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