President Mamnoon signs bill to resume military courts


ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Friday signed the 28th Amendment Bill 2017 and the 23rd Constitutional Amendment Bill extending military courts for another two years.

The bill, following the President’s signature, is now an Act of Parliament. Under this Act, the duration of the military courts has been extended for another two years, starting from January 7, 2017.

The 28th Amendment Bill was passed in the Senate on Tuesday after two-third majority votes came in its favour. 78 votes favoured the bill while three opposed it.

The bill, now an Act of Parliament, would implement the law of evidence during the proceedings. Suspects would have to be brought to court within 24 hours and would be entitled to have a lawyer of their choice.

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.

On March 21, the 28th Amendment had been passed by the National Assembly when 255 NA members voted in favour while only four voted against it.

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.