CJP declares legal guidelines underneath which military engages in industrial actions ‘unconstitutional’

Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed. — APP/File
Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Tuesday mentioned that the legal guidelines underneath which the Pakistan Army engages in industrial actions are “unconstitutional”.

The chief justice made the statement whereas listening to a case in opposition to industrial actions on cantonment land.

He requested how the military may even conduct industrial actions on state land.

Secretary Defense retired Lt Gen Mian Hilal appeared earlier than the courtroom at present and introduced a report which was declared “unsatisfactory” by the courtroom.

During the listening to, the chief justice requested whether or not constructing cinemas, marriage ceremony halls, colleges and homes fulfil any defense-related functions.

The chief justice famous that each one unlawful buildings are being demolished in Karachi. He additional famous that enormous partitions have been erected on Karsaz street and the service street has been pushed additional away from the street.

He mentioned cantonment land can’t be divided into totally different classes.

Justice Ahmed remarked that the Pearl Marquee and Grand Convention Hall are nonetheless standing.

“The wall running alongside Kala Pul and the Grand Convention Hall must be knocked down today,” he mentioned.

“Large walls have been constructed on Karsaz and Rashid Minhas road for advertisements. This is state land,” he added.

Cinemas, petrol pumps, housing societies, purchasing malls and marriage halls will not be for protection functions, the chief justice mentioned, asking the attorney-general to tell the courtroom “how the Ministry of Defense can restrict their use to defense purposes”.

Justice Ahmed mentioned this observe is “found on cantonment board lands all over the country”.

“CSD has also been made an open, commercial department store,” he mentioned, referring to the Canteen Stores Department chain of retail shops headquartered in Rawalpindi.

“A building was erected on Gizri Road overnight. We had barely woken up in the morning and they constructed the building,” he continued.

The chief justice mentioned that it’s “not possible to allow the army’s illegal constructions to stand”. “If we let these remain, how will we demolish the others?” he remarked.

“Attorney general sahab, who will explain the law to the army? They continue to do as they please.

“The legal guidelines on the idea of which they interact in industrial actions are unconstitutional,” Justice Ahmed said.

Then, to the defense secretary, he said:  “You your self have served as a basic, you will need to know, it’s not the regulation’s intention that land for use for protection functions be used for some other objective.”

If not used for defense, the land will go back to the government, he added.

“Secretary sahab, if you’re saying that industrial use is for protection functions, then what does the time period protection even imply?” the chief justice asked.

The defense secretary said: “Sir, when you permit me, I want to say one thing.”

He went on to say: “The scope of the time period strategic targets is broad. Commercial actions additionally fall into the class of strategic protection. In instances of peace, these actions are for welfare functions and are carried out to maintain the morale of the military excessive.”

Justice Qazi Amin said: “We know that it’s market legal guidelines that function in cantonments.”

The chief justice added: “Secretary sahab, all that’s tremendous, however the place is the cantonment on these lands? There are solely homes after homes there.”

The top judge said that army officials bought land, “then bought it off and left”, after which the land exchanged several hands. “How will you get it again?” he asked.

The chief justice said that schools and wedding halls have also been set up at Faisal Base. “Anyone might be operating on the runway as a marriage visitor,” he remarked.

Justice Qazi Amin remarked that the army “shouldn’t compromise on its massive objectives for petty enterprise”.

The army should take care of the sanctity of its institution, he added.

The chief justice remarked that shopping malls have also been developed on defence land in Quetta and Lahore. “It isn’t clear how the Ministry of Defense plans on persevering with these actions,” he said.

Defense secretary given four weeks to submit detailed report

The chief justice then asked the defense secretary what his plans ahead are, to which the secretary defense responded by saying that a committee of all the three military services has been formed which will identify illegal constructions.

Justice Ahmed said that cantonment land has to be returned to the government when defense objectives are met and that the government, in turn, returns it to the party from which it was acquired.

“Giving homes to high navy officers doesn’t fall underneath the ambit of protection functions,” he said.

“How can the military perform industrial actions on state land? State land can’t be exploited,” he stressed.

Addressing the attorney general, the chief justice said that he must inform the defense secretary that the report he has submitted in court is “incorrect”.

“The report states that the [illegally constructed] buildings have been demolished, whereas they nonetheless stand. This is a matter of disgrace for each the courtroom and the military,” Justice Ahmed said.

He said that a comprehensive report should be submitted as to which cantonment land  is designated for what purpose.”According to the regulation, strategic land will solely be used for protection functions,” he added.

The chief justice gave the defense secretary four weeks to submit a detailed report to the court.