Pakistan government files petition seeking stay on Supreme Court verdict on Bajwa's extension

Islamabas, PakistanUpdated: Jan 02, 2020, 10:47 PM IST
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Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa Photograph:(AFP)

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Prime Minister Khan had extended Bajwa's tenure for another three years on August 19, 2019.

Pakistan government on Thursday filed a civil miscellaneous petition with the Supreme Court seeking a stay order on the apex court's verdict regarding the extension of Army Chief Javed Qamar Bajwa's extension.

The petition asked that a stay order should remain in effect until a decision on the government's review petition on the verdict has been made, Dawn reported.

On November 28, 2019, the Supreme Court had asserted that the country's Army Act lacks clauses to justify Bajwa's extension and ordered the government to legislate on the Pakistan Army chief's extension/reappointment.

In response, the Pakistan government submitted a review petition against the top court's verdict, seeking it to be set aside asserting that the verdict has "glaring omissions and mistakes".

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday headed a cabinet meeting to approve proposed amendments to the Constitution and the Army Act, Dawn reported.

The government will also introduce the amendment bill in Parliament on Friday after building a consensus with the opposition on the matter.

Bajwa is turning 60 this year.

Prime Minister Khan had extended Bajwa's tenure for another three years on August 19, 2019.

The extension was then challenged on the grounds that it is offensive to Article 243(4)(b) of the Constitution.

The case was initially filed by the Jurists' Foundation but after it asked to withdraw the case, the court decided to take it up against itself.

During the hearing, the court explored the scope of Article 243 of the Constitution, and the Pakistan Army Act, 1952.

On November 28, the court extended Bajwa's tenure by six months and ordered the government to make a law regulating such appointments.

The detailed 43-page written verdict in the case was released on December 16.

The judgement stated that the matter is being handed over to parliament in order to avoid such mistakes in the future. It also urged parliament to 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.