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.