Last update: Tue, 09 Feb 2016 04pm

Military courts: Amendment challenged in Supreme Court

A day after its passage by parliament, the 21st Constitutional Amendment was on Wednesday challenged in Supreme Court. Maulvi Iqbal Haider filed a petition in apex court under Article 184(3) of the constitution, requesting the apex court to provide guidelines and interpret Articles 2A, 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 70(4), 175, 185, 190, 201, 203, 204 of the constitution.

The petitioner submitted that the military courts will not function under the supervision of the high courts or Supreme Court, which is against the basic structure of the constitution; therefore, the court should take notice in the larger interest of supremacy of constitution.

The petitioner argues that military courts should work under the supervision of superior courts as the right of appeal should be provided before the Supreme Court and the name of religion or sect should be avoided because terrorists or militants have no religion; nor do they belong to any sect.

"The incident occurred in army public school at Peshawar is great failure of provincial government of K-P as well as federal government but the government shows that there is failure of the judiciary of Pakistan," the petitioner said.

According to the petitioner, despite taking an administrative action, the federal government has curtailed the power and jurisdiction of the superior court, which is a gross violation of Articles 2A, 9, 10, 14, 25, 175, 185, 189, 201, 203 and 204 of the constitution.

Similarly, the apex court's judgment against the establishment of military courts cannot be thrown/superseded and override through a constitutional amendment, he added.

The petitioner raised question whether the new constitutional amendment hits the independence of judiciary and freedom to profess religion. Whether the said amendment and the Army Act allow the government to set aside the superior courts.

It also questioned whether the parliament is competent to override the judgment of the superior courts of Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015