Saturday November 27, 2021

SC admits plea against 25th Amend: ‘Merger of Fata with KP illegal’

September 24, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday admitted for regular hearing constitutional petition challenging 25th Amendment to the Constitution and issued notices to the Attorney General for Pakistan, KP advocate general and other respondents in the case.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Muzahir Ali Akbar Naqvi admitted the instant petition for regular hearing.

The 25th Amendment was passed by Parliament in May 2018 through which the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) were merged in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The constitutional petition was filed by a large number of elders and Maliks of the former tribal areas through Barrister Wasim Sajjad.

Appearing on notice, Barrister Wasim Sajjad submitted before the court that the amendment was passed by violating the basic structure of the Constitution and was, therefore, illegal.

The counsel further argued that through the amendment the distinct character of Fata as a unit of the federation had been destroyed.

He contended that Fata has lost its identity as well as 12 seats in the National Assembly and 8 seats in the Senate. Wasim Sajjad further submitted that the amendment deviated from the objective resolution of the Constitution, which could not be permitted. Similarly, he recalled that Quaid-i-Azam had given a commitment to the Fata that no change would be made in their system of governance or way of life without their consultation.

“This commitment had been enshrined in the Constitution under Article 247 by which it has been laid down that no change in the status of Fata would be made without consulting the people of Fata through a jirga”, Wasim Sajjad contended.

He submitted that no jirga, according to tribal traditions and customs, was constituted for the purpose and, therefore, all proceedings leading to the amendment and the amendment were illegal and against the Constitution.

Meanwhile, Justice Umar Ata Bandial observed that it is an interesting case and requires consideration.

Later, the court issued notices to the Attorney General for Pakistan, the KP advocate general and other respondents in the case and adjourned the matter for date-in-office.