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Article 245 plea: IHC tells Defence Ministry to submit reply


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday directed the Ministry of Defence to submit its reply in the court while hearing the petition filed against the military deployment in the federal capital under Article 245 of the constitution.
Three-member full court of the IHC headed by Chief Justice Anwar Kasi and whose other members were Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique and Justice Athar Minallah heard the petition. During the case proceedings Justice Kasi noted that the government also calls the military for assistance of civil administration when any natural disaster hits the country. Whereas Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique remarked that the petitioner should be happy that the government is calling the military but it is reluctant.
The IHC appointed Raza Rabbani, Hamid Khan, SM Zafar, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada and Taufiq Asif as amicus curie in the case and adjourned its hearing till September 1. Earlier, the petition filed by Islamabad Bar Association President Naseer Kiyani and Syed Nayyab Gardezi against the enforcement of Article 245 was forwarded by Justice Shuakat Aziz Siddique to IHC Chief Justice Anwar Kasi for the formulation of a larger bench. The petition prayed the court that there are no signs of failure of the civil administration so the government cannot call the army.
The petition stated that the implementation of Article 245 would suspend the fundamental rights of the people. The petitioner also prayed that the army was summoned when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah and added that no approval was sought from the federal cabinet. Meanwhile, the federation in its written reply has requested the court to dismiss the petition, while the Ministry of Law has clarified in its reply that the army was called for security purpose and that Article 199 of the constitution was not suspended. The federal government invoked Article 245 on July 24, but it was challenged on July 28 through a petition in the IHC.

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