ISLAMABAD- A Supreme Court judge, Justice Dost Muhammad Khan raises query over whether the President has passed any regulation for the amendment to the Pakistan Army Act 1952 to encompass the Federally Administered Areas (FATA).
He expressed, “Unless the president extends the law, whether the act of the parliament can be extended to the Fata area where a military operation is going on.”
Justice Dost Muhammad raised the issue in a 14 judge full court, presided by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk which was there to hear petitions questioning the appointment procedure of Superior Court Judges and the establishment of Military courts under the 18th and 21st Amendment respectively.
Justice Dost Muhammad also asked for the opinion of the senior counsel, Abid Zuberi who was representing the Sindh High Court Bar Association which has also challenged the 21st Amendment, regarding the trial of those persons who has been arrested in the area where operation is being conducted. He asked whether the persons detained in the operational area can be trialed in military courts unless the president extends the act to FATA.
Mr. Zaid replied that the act has not been extended to FATA where the military operation is going on.
Furthermore, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa stated that he could not find any exclusion of the jurisdiction of the Apex Court or the high court not having a judicial review over the proceedings in the military courts which have been established to try case hardened criminals.
“Seeing the lot of issues being left out unattended, may be the intention of legislators was to have the superior judiciary the jurisdiction over these matters,” he says.
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