ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Supreme Court (SC) issued its detailed verdict on the extension of the army chief, stating absence of legislation within six months, the institutional practice of retirement of a General on completion of the tenure of three years “shall stand enforced.”
The written 43-page verdict by the top court’s Justice Mansoor Ali Shah has issued in a case related to the extension of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The detailed verdict stated that a three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa explored the scope of Article 243 of the Constitution, reviewed the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, the Pakistan Army Act Rules, 1954.
The court found that the “Pakistan Army Act, 1952 falls deficient of the structural requirements for raising and maintaining an Army under clause (3) of Article 243 of the Constitution.”
The verdict noted that “no tenure or age of retirement for the rank of General is provided under the law. As per the institutional practice a General retires on completion of a tenure of three years. Although an institutional practice cannot be a valid substitute of the law.”
"There is no provision in the law for extending service of a General for another tenure; nor is there any consistent and continuous institutional practice of granting such extension," Justice Shah wrote, adding that the summaries for the reappointment, extension and fresh appointment of General Bajwa were "meaningless" in absence of the relevant law.
The verdict further stated that in the light of the attorney general's assurances as well as the importance of the responsibilities of the COAS, it is appropriate that the incumbent COAS may continue for a period of six months.
However, the court warns that in the absence of legislation on the matter within six months, the institutional practice of retirement of a General on completion of the tenure of three years "shall stand enforced".
The written verdict has been issued today in connection with its previous short written order
in the plea announced on November 28 that had ordered granting six months to the government for the legislation on the matter from the parliament.
An additional note of Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khosa
was also given in the detailed verdict in the case. The judgement stated that the matter is being handed over to the parliament in order to avoid such mistakes in future. It also read that the parliament must assign a tenure for the post of the army chief.
It added that the federal government had included the word, extension, during the hearing held on November 26, however, the legislation was incorrect as it did not mention the details of the army chief’s period of services and retirement age.
The government had restricted the tenure of General Bajwa
for three years under the regulation 255 but it was not eligible to be implemented as it did not define the retirement age of the general in the legislation, the verdict said.
READ SUPREME COURT DETAILED VERDICT BELOW: