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Govt seeks stay on Top Court’s army chief extension ruling

Govt seeks stay on Top Court’s army chief extension ruling
The federal government on Thursday sought a stay order from the Supreme Court (SC) against its verdict in the army chief extension of service case.
According to media reports, the government in its second plea requested the top court to accept the application and suspend/stay the operation of the impugned judgment dated November 28, 2019, in the interest of justice".
Earlier on December 26, the law ministry had approached the top court against its December 16 detailed judgment ordering the federation to legislate on the matter within six months.
Today’s petition prayed to the court that "The petitioners have a strong prima facie case to succeed; hence the operation of the impugned judgement may be suspended/stayed till the final decision of this civil review petition."
It further stated that the "balance of convenience lies in favour of the petitioners" and if the "injunction as prayed is not granted, the petitioners will suffer irreparable loss.”
The plea also asked the chief justice to constitute a larger bench comprising five judges so as to hear the review petition.
In its previous petition against the detailed order, the government had pleaded the court to keep the proceedings in-camera.
The petition further argued that the top court’s verdict did not take into account "important constitutional and legal" points. It further stated that the apex court has itself "been giving extensions to additional and ad-hoc judges", making a case for the government to exercise this discretion as well.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) led federal government formed a delegation headed by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and comprising Ali Muhammad Khan and Shibli Faraz, which met with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) members over the COAS extension issue.
The delegation head said that they will contact other opposition members after meeting with PML-N, adding that the government will bring the bill to Parliament after consultations.
Earlier on Wednesday, the federal cabinet in an emergency meeting had given approval of the amendment in Army Act for extension in tenure of incumbent Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The amendment was approved in the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.
The government will table the amendment in the National Assembly tomorrow (Friday).

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