Mily courts resume for two years

Sophia Siddiqui


President Mamnoon Hussain on Friday gave his assent to Constitution’s 28th Amendment bill 2017.
The said bills have already got nod from the parliament. After getting signed from the President, the bills have become Act now.
Under Constitution’s 28th Amendment, military courts have been extended for another two years.
The president also signed the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act 2017 which was presented by the government before the Senate in the wake of the Panamagate controversy last year.
When it was tabled the 28th Constitutional Amendment Bill was titled the 23rd Constitutional Amendment Bill. However, it will now be called the 28th amendment bill.
Military courts were disbanded on January 7, 2017, after a sunset clause included in the legal provisions under which the tribunals were established, expired.
Till recently, the government and the opposition had struggled to reach a consensus on reviving the courts despite frequent discussions.
Earlier this month, the Senate passed the government’s commission of inquiry bill with four amendments, one of which makes it mandatory for the government to make the commission’s report public within 30 days of submitting it.
The bill was presented in the National Assembly for a second time after the Senate made amendments to it. It was passed by the assembly last week.
The bill was already given approval from upper and lower Houses of Parliament with two-third majority.
The bill, now an Act of Parliament, would implement the law of evidence during the proceedings. Under the law suspects would have to be brought to court within 24 hours and would be entitled to have a lawyer of their choice.
The military courts were established after the attack at Army Public school on December 16, 2014 which claimed the lives innocent children.
Keeping in view the extraordinary situation and circumstances constituting grave threat to the security and integrity of Pakistan from various terrorist groups, armed groups, wings and militia or their members, the Constitution (Twenty-first Amendment) Act, 2015 was passed enabling trial of cases related to terrorism under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952. Necessary amendments were also made in the Pakistan Army Act, 1952 through the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act, 2015.
These measures have yielded positive results in combating terrorism.

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