Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, has taken a stand against the amendments made to the Army Act and the Official Secrets Act, filing a constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court.
This legal action comes in the form of a constitutional petition filed under Article 184/3 on behalf of Imran Khan. Advocate Shoaib Shaheen is representing Imran Khan, with the Federation, the President, the Ministry of Interior, and the Secretary of the National Assembly named as respondents.
The petition argues that both the Official Secrets Act and the Army Amendment Act encroach upon fundamental human rights. The Official Secrets Act’s provision granting secret agencies the authority to conduct warrantless home searches is deemed unconstitutional.
Furthermore, the petition asserts that President Arif Alvi, via social media, made it clear that he had not approved these laws. It contends that the Official Secrets (Amendment) Act of 2023 contradicts Article 8 of the Constitution, which stipulates that any law contravening or abrogating fundamental rights shall be null and void.
Notably, President Arif Alvi recently issued a statement on his personal Twitter account, affirming that he had not signed the amendments to the Official Secrets and Army Acts. President Alvi expressed his disagreement with both pieces of legislation, stating that he had instructed his staff to return the unsigned bills.
The President further emphasized, “I have repeatedly confirmed with my staff that the bills were returned without my signature.” He only recently learned that his staff had acted contrary to his wishes and instructions.