SC adjourns hearing of COAS extension case till tomorrow
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of the case regarding extension of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa till Thursday.
A three-member bench presided over by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa heard the case.
Former law minister Farogh Naseem appeared on behalf of COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Attorney General Anwar Mansoor presented the new approval regarding extension in the tenure of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in court.
The attorney general contended that the impression of unavailability of law regarding extension in the tenure of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa is wrong. “The service tenure is written in the notification, which is prerogative,” he contended.
Chief Justice remarked that the government had tried to rectify the points raised by court after accepting them. “The section amended by the government does not pertain to Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa,” he said.
“Can a retired army chief be re-appointed? The issue can be resolved if a clear reply is given,” he remarked. He ruled that the government had not mentioned the word ‘mistake’ in the documents. “If the circumstances are normal, we decide the case as per law.”
He also clarified that it had not taken suo motu notice of the matter.
“According to the summary, the prime minister had recommended the new appointment. The President issued a notification regarding the extension. Has no one tried to go through the summary and notification?. The summary was sent and approved yesterday,” the CJ remarked.
The attorney said that the extension was made under Article 243.
Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked that a new appointment, not extension, was made under Article 243.
Expressing his indignation, he said that the government had made the Army Chief a shuttlecock. “Even an assistant commissioner is not appointed in this way. It has been written in the summary that General Bajwa will retire on November 29.”
The CJ remarked that there are three issues before the court. “The first issue is the legal status of the appointment. The second one is the method of the appointment and the third is the reasons behind the appointment. It is not our problem who is appointed the Army Chief by the prime minister,” he said.
He said that the court will have to make the decision as there will be no time after tomorrow. “The government should find out a solution to the issue till tomorrow. If there is anything illegal, it is our oath to declare it illegal,” the CJ remarked.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah remarked that temporary extension in the retirement can be granted during a war. “It does not mean that extension be granted for three years. It is surprising that there is no mention of tenure and reappointment in the Army Act. Now we decide the matter as it has been presented before us.”
He also remarked that officers can be stopped from retirement during a war. “The government can suspend the retirement only after the retirement,” he observed.
The court ruled that the court would review the rules and Army Act para-wise to understand the spirit of the law pertaining to appointment and extension of the army chief.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah ruled that the appointment would be a retired general after it. The attorney general stated that the Army Chief does not retire till handing over the command.
On Tuesday, the SC had suspended the notification regarding the extension of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa for another three years.
During the hearing, the apex court had issued notices to President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and the army chief and adjourned the hearing till Wednesday.
According to a notification , the decision has been taken in view of the regional security environment.
92 News had aired the news about extension in the service of COAS Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in its program ‘Ho Kaya Raha Hai’ on July 25. Senior Analyst Arif Nizami had informed the viewers that the service tenure of COAS General Qamar Bajwa would be extended.
The extension will be applicable after the completion of the present tenure. The COAS will hold the post till 2022.
During his service, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa restored peace in tribal areas. He also defended the borders of the homeland in addition to resolving the problems emerging after the rehabilitation of thousands of tribal people. The COAS also visited the front posts of troops to raise the morale of the jawans. He also has a vast experience of affairs in Kashmir and Northern Areas.