Rawalpindi: 4 convicted FGCM majors want LHC to provide them case record
RAWALPINDI: Four former army majors convicted by the Field General Court Marshal (FGCM) for their connections with the banned organization of Hizbut Tehrir (HT) have filed petitions before the Lahore High Court (LHC), Rawalpindi bench, seeking directions to the military authorities to provide the petitioners with case records. Justice Mehmood Maqbool Bajwa of the LHC’s Rawalpindi Bench taking up the petitions here on Thursday issued notices to Judge Advocate General (JAG) seeking their reply till October 16. The petitioner had been seeking from the court to direct the military authorities to provide them with the copies of the investigation report, court of inquiry, summery of evidence with charge sheet, convening orders and committal warrants. These petitioners were convicted along with Brig Ali Khan for having links with HT. Justice Bajwa of the LHC directed a standing counsel representing the federation to convey the court order to JAG and seek their reply. Among the four former majors of army who filed identical petitions there were Inayat Aziz resident of Lahore, Iftikhar Ahmed resident of Abbotabad, Jawad Baseer resident of Kohat and Sohail Akbar resident of Islamabad.
The petitioner, through their counsel Inamur Rahim, advocate, adopted before the court that they had requested JAG on September 15 to provide the documents needed to be studied before filing an appeal against the conviction, but the authorities denied the documents through a letter on September 19, 2012.
The petitioner prayed to the court to stop the military authorities taking any adverse action against them before providing them with a chance for filing an appeal. To file an appeal, the petitioner needed the above said documents for study and preparing a brief.
Under Section 130 of the Pakistan Army Act, the military authorities are empowered to deny the documents considered to be prejudicial to the safety and interests of the state. The petitioners, however, have challenged these powers while saying that under the Constitution every accused had the right of fair trial.
At the time of their arrest former Major Jawad Baseer had been with Headquarter 115 Brigade Sialkot. He was arrested on May 16 2011. Iftikhar Ahmed was undergoing an intelligence course at Military School of Intelligence Murree and he was arrested on May 29 2011. Inayat Aziz was serving at Headquarters 104 Brigade, Warsak, and arrested on June 01, 2011. While Sohail Akbar, who had served at Siachen was attached with Station Headquarters, Rawalpindi, and arrested on May 17.
The petitioners told the court their families kept searching for them after their disappearance and the military authorities only informed them that the majors would soon return home. It was in September and in December last year only when the families were allowed to see them while in confinement.
The FGCM sentenced Inayat Aziz to 18 months, Iftikhar to 18 months, Sohail Akbar to three years and Jawad Baseer to two years, besides dismissing them from service.