SC moved to declare Army Act, Secret Act ultra vires

ISLAMABAD  -  The Supreme Court of Pakistan has been urged to declare that the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act 2023 and the Official Secrets (Amendment) Act, 2023 are “ultra vires” of the Constitution.

The Sindh Bar Council (SBC) Thursday filed a pe­tition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

The petition contended that the purported Paki­stan Army (Amendment) Act 2023 and the Official Secrets (Amendment) Act, 2023 lack presidential assent under Article 75 (1). “[They] are a nullity, and may not be accorded the status of law under Article 75 (3) of the Constitution,” it said.

It added, “They purport to further extend the reach of military laws and military tribunals over civilians (including retired military personnel) and to this extent are of no legal effect.”

The petition asked the Supreme Court to strike down Sections 2(d), 59 (4) and 94 of the Pakistan Army Act 1952 and Section 2 (dd), 71 (3) and 123 of the Pakistan Air Force Act 1953 and Section 2 (3), 78 (3) and 107 of the Pakistan Navy Ordi­nance 1961.

The petitioner urged the court to declare that the trial of civilians under military laws and be­fore military tribunals violates the Constitution and Pakistan’s international treaty and conven­tion obligations and cannot be countenanced un­der any circumstances.

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