ISLAMABAD - Another constitutional petition was filed in the Supreme Court to challenge the 21st Amendment for establishing military courts in the country.

Communist Party of Pakistan Chairman Engineer Jameel Ahmed fled the petition against the federation, the National Assembly and the Senate under Article 184(3), praying to the court to strike down the amendments in the Constitution and Army Act, 1952.

The petition stated that it was wrong to say that the judiciary had failed because they had awarded death sentence to nearly 8,000 prisoners, so it was not the judiciary’s fault if these sentences were not carried out by the rulers who failed to execute the condemned criminals under the pressure of the US and European Union.

He said the Parliament had the right to amend the Constitution and make laws, but it could not change the basic structure of the Constitution as was held by the Supreme Court in Wukala Mahaz Barai Tahaffuz-e-Dastoor vs Federation case (PLD 1998, 1,263). He added the Parliament could not enact any law curbing, curtailing and infringing the fundamental rights of the citizens.

He stated the Supreme Court had all the powers to examine whether any constitutional amendment was in line with the basic scheme or totality of the Constitution as had been done by the Supreme Court of India which had struck down certain articles of the Indian Constitution by introducing ‘principles of basic structure of the Constitution’.

The petition said it was an open secrete that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Muslim League-N and its allied parties as well as other political and religious parties in the Parliament voted in favour of military courts under the fear and pressure of the army.

“This act of the parliamentarians is severe violation of their oath to protect, safeguard and defend the Constitution. Justice demands that the parliamentarians who voted for military courts should be tried under Article 6 of the Constitution,” the petitioner concluded.