Imran moves SC against amendments in Army Act, Official Secrets law

Imran moves SC against amendments in Army Act, Official Secrets law

Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday submitted a petition to the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the amendments made in the Army Act and Official Secrets Act.

Advocate Shohaib Shaheen, on the behalf of Imran Khan, filed a petition against recent amendments to Army Act 1952 under Article 184 of the Constitution of Pakistan. The petition contends that the new clauses are in violation of human rights.

The petition contends that the amendments are in violation of Articles 4, 8, 9, 10, 10-A, 19, 19-A of the Constitution, which guarantee civil liberties, including right to liberty, dignity, free speech, fair trial and due process under the law, among other fundamental rights.

In July, both houses of Parliament passed the bill to amend the Army Act, 1952, which proposed up to five years in jail for those who disclose sensitive information pertaining to the security of the country or the military.

On August 1, the PDM government also got the bill to amend the century-old secrets act approved by the National Assembly.

On August 6, the upper house of the Parliament finally approved the bill.

On August 19, Presi­d­ent Arif Alvi was said to have assented to both the Of­­ficial Secrets (Amend­m­ent) Bill 2023 and the Pakistan Army (Amend­ment) Bill 2023, allowing the pieces of proposed legislation to become acts of parliament.

However, the next day, the president publicly claimed that he had not signed the two bills since he disagreed with them and had asked his staff to return them unsigned within the stipulated time to make them ineffective, but his staff had “undermined” his will.