Pak court dismisses petition challenging Gen Ashraf Kayani's extension

Gen Ashraf Kayani

A petition filed by a retired Colonel challenging the unprecedented three-year extension given by Pakistan government to army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was today dismissed by a court here.

A two-judge bench of the Islamabad High Court dismissed the petition after hearing arguments by Col (retd) Inam ur Rahim, who had challenged the legality of the extension granted to Kayani in 2010.

Earlier, the judges had reserved their judgement on Rahim's petition.

After a brief recess, the bench announced its verdict.

The reasons for the decision could not immediately be ascertained.

Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman had dismissed a similar petition filed by Rahim in September last year on the ground that it was 'not maintainable'.

Rahim then filed an intra-court appeal.

Rahim is the convener of the Ex-Servicemen Society and had served in the army's Judge Advocate General branch.

During today's hearing, the judges noted that the extension was announced by the government in November 2010 while Rahim had filed his petition in September 2012.

The bench asked Rahim why he had waited almost two years before challenging the extension.

Rahim said under the Army Act, a person could not stay in uniform after he turned 60.

He said he had waited till Kayani turned 60 before he filed his petition.

The bench that was hearing Rahim's intra-court appeal was dissolved in November last year after the government did not issue a notification to extend the tenure of two judges.

After the Supreme Court took up the matter, the Law Ministry recently issued orders to extend the term of the judges.

Rahim contended that Kayani could no longer hold the post of army chief as he had reached the age of retirement (60 years) on April 20 last year.

He further contended that there is no provision in the Army Act under which an extension of a full tenure, or three years, can be given to any person.

... contd.

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