ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Defence on Tuesday sought time to consider amending the Pakistan Army Act 1952 in order to bring it in conformity with the laws of Navy and Air Force regarding providing findings of the trial before the conclusion of court martial.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed was hearing 13 years old petitions filed by Col (Retd) Muhammad Akram regarding not giving charge-sheet to the accused of court martial before confirmation of his sentence.

Mujib-ur-Rehman, counsel for Ministry of Defence, informed the court that he had conveyed the court’s concern to the relevant authorities. But they first wanted to examine the Court order, passed on November 12, 2012 regarding the matter. He further said after reviewing the order the authorities would be in a position to decide about the matter.

Inability to get copies of judgments, depositions or other record of the FGCM creates difficulties for convicts or accused to furnish grounds for appealing against a conviction.

“The Ministry of Defence will consider amendment to the Pakistan Army Act 1952 to bring it to the conformity of Pakistan Air Force Act Rules 1957 and the Pakistan Navy Act,” the counsel informed the court.

Col (Retd) Akram, the petitioner, stance is that Article 10A of the Constitution inserted under the 18th Amendment guaranteed every citizen the right to fair trial and due process, therefore the court martial judgment should be announced in the presence of parties.

According to the petition of Col (retd) Akram, the findings of the trial are provided to the accused in Navy and Pakistan Air Force, but not in Army. He in his petition has termed some clauses of the Army Act against the Constitution of Pakistan and submitted that such discriminatory clauses should be amended.

On the request of Ministry of Defence counsel the hearing of the case is adjourned for three weeks.