ISLAMABAD: The bill on the Bill of Services Chiefs approved in Parliament disputes whether the President has been given more discretionary powers in relation to the re-appointment of service chiefs or extension of his term.
Senior lawyer Salman Akram Raja raised these questions in a series of tweets, expressing surprise that word in the clause regarding the re-appointment of Army, Navy, Air Force chiefs and Joint Chiefs of Army Staff. (shall) ie can instead of 'may', ie why was used.
For example, Article 8A of the Pakistan Army Act Amendment Bill regarding the appointment of the Army Chief states that on the advice of the Prime Minister, the President of the State has been appointed Chief of Army Staff for a three-year term. The President will, on occasion, determine from time to time the advice of the Prime Minister on national security or critical needs.
Also read: What Are The Amendments To The Army Act?
However, with regard to the Army Chief's re-appointment or extension, Article 8B states that, despite the provisions contained in this Act or any law enacted at present, the Chief of Army Staff shall, on the advice of the Prime Minister, be re-appointed for a period of 3 years. Deploy or extend their term of employment up to 3 years'.
On the other hand, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Law Minister Farooq H. Naik rejected any controversy regarding the bill and said that in such constitutional document, the words 'can always'. Shall be taken in the sense of 'and' the Army, Navy, Air Force rules will be amended and the Constitution will be settled in case of any contradiction in the Constitution.
In his tweet, Salman Akram Raja also pointed out the clause under which the decision in this regard cannot be challenged in any court and said that the above conditions cannot be challenged in the higher judiciary. Did not determine its scope through.
Talking to Dawn in this regard, he said that under Article 48 of the Constitution, the Prime Minister is obliged to write a letter to the President and therefore no discretion can be created in favor of the President.
In another tweet, he wrote that "the bill states that the use of discretion cannot be challenged in a court by the appointing authority for reappointment or extension."
According to him, this bill has made the re-appointment or extension of the presidential function within the jurisdiction of the President, it relates the re-deployment or extension to the presence of national security and other requirements, how is it done by the Supreme Court. Exclude a petition or writ stating that 'discretion cannot be exercised on the basis of objective facts'.
In another tweet, he said that the president is obliged to follow the prime minister's advice under section 48 for re-appointment or extension under Article 243 of the constitution, whereas the proposed amendment will lead to the issue of the president's discretion over the deployment or extension. Making is a violation of Articles 243 and 48 of the Constitution.
In this regard, according to Salman Akram Raja, this law is a violation of the Constitution which can be challenged in court.
Pakistan Bar Council Deputy Chairman Syed Amjad Shah confirmed that the law could be challenged in court but no one would dare to do so, given the overwhelming majority passed in both houses of parliament.
He said that under the law, the Prime Minister has been given the power to extend the term of Army Chief but the authority has not been organized.
Amjad Shah further said, 'This means that the concept of civilian supremacy will remain a dream as no measure has been set to explain what situation or the need for the future Army Chief. Jobs will be expanded