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Pakistan SC upholds military courts, rejects pleas

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Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday rejected all applications challenging the 18th and 21st constitutional amendments, ruling in favour of the establishment of military courts in the country.

A 17-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Nasirul Mulk had reserved the verdict on the 35 identical applications against the two constitutional amendments on June 27, Geo TV reported.

The bench dismissed the petitions challenging the 21st amendment with 11 judges voting to reject the pleas and six in favour.

Besides, petitions challenging the 18th amendment were also rejected by a majority 14-3 vote.

The verdict was announced by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk and Justice Dost Muhammad.

The ruling by the apex court on Wednesday puts the stamp of approval for military courts in Pakistan, which were formed under the 21st constitutional amendment and the Pakistan Army Act 1952 for speedy hearing of terrorism cases following the Taliban attack at the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014.

The establishment of the military courts was challenged in the pleas against the 21st constitutional amendment by the Supreme Court Bar Association, the Lahore High Court Bar Association and other lawyers’ bodies, arguing that the military courts were an expression of no-confidence in the judiciary, a violation of basic human rights and against the basic structure of the constitution.

The apex court had halted the execution of six militants who were handed down the death sentence.

But Wednesday’s verdict upholding the establishment of the military courts paves way for the continuation of the hearing of terrorism cases in military courts and the execution of the six death row prisoners.

(IANS)

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Mother Convicted of Forcing Daughter to Marry

A British court has convicted a mother of forcing her daughter to marry a relative almost twice her age in Pakistan, in a first successful prosecution of its type in England.

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A union flag is flown at half mast in Westminster after an attack on London Bridge and Borough Market left 7 people dead and dozens injured in London, Britain, June 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

A British court has convicted a mother of forcing her daughter to marry a relative almost twice her age in Pakistan, in a first successful prosecution of its type in England.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday convicted the mother of four of duping her then 17-year-old daughter into travelling to Pakistan on the pretext of a family holiday in 2016 and forcing her to marry there, the BBC reported.

The mother was found guilty of two counts of forced marriage and was scheduled to be sentenced.

The court heard the girl had been entered into a “marriage contract” with the man years before in Pakistan and became pregnant at 13. The victim had an abortion on returning to the UK, with her doctor reporting his concerns to social services.

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Prosecutors said the girl’s mother told them that her daughter and the man were just “two teenagers who had sneakily had sex” after she was referred, the BBC said.

The girl was tricked into travelling to Pakistan again in September 2016 and was forced by her mother to sign marriage papers.

When the daughter protested against the marriage, her mother threatened to burn her passport and assaulted her.

The mother was also convicted of perjury after she lied about the incident in the High Court.

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It is the first time a forced marriage case of this kind has been successfully prosecuted in an English court. Prosecutions for forced marriage, which became an offense in 2014, are rare. (IANS)

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