The Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) on Saturday challenged the federal government’s decision to call in the army in the federal capital for a period of three months under Article 245 of the Constitution.
The decision was challenged by IBA through its president, Naseer Ahmed Kiani at the Islamabad High Court in a writ petition. Citing the secretary cabinet division, secretary defence, secretary ministry of interior and secretary ministry of law and justice as respondents, the petitioner maintained that the government issued a notification on July 25 and invoked Article 245 in the capital for a period of three months, which is illegal.
The lawyers’ body claimed that the decision needs to be taken by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif or at least be approved by the cabinet or presented in Parliament, adding thus the government decision stands without any lawful justification or lawful authority.
The petition stated there was no failure of the civil administration to control law and order in the city, however, the government took the extreme step and called in troops in the capital for three months.
He said such decisions are against democratic norms.
The petition stated that the legal fraternity, civil society and media had struggled for the restoration of judiciary in 2007 and thus the “mini martial law” that is being imposed in the capital will not be acceptable to them.
He requested the court to accept the petition and declare the notification illegal. The court will take up the matter after the Eid holidays.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2014.