Court Martial under Pakistan. Army Act, 1952
S J tubrazy
Chapter IIIof Pakistan. Army Act, 1952, which comprises sections 16 to 20, deals with dismissal or removal by the Federal Government, dismissal or removal by the Chief of Army Staff or other authorised officer, retirement, release or discharge, certification on termination of service, and discharge or dismissal of any person who is subject to the Army Act and who is out of Pakistan.
It may further be pointed out that Chapter IV, which consists of section 21 to section 23, provides for summary reduction and punishment otherwise than by sentence arid Court Martial..
It may also be stated that Chapter. V, which comprises section 24 to section 59, deals with offences.
Whereas Chapter VI, .which consists of section 60 to section 63, provides for .punishments including death, imprisonment for life, rigorous imprisonment for any term not exceeding fourteen years, dismissal from the service, in the case of persons other than officers, junior commissioned officers or warrant officers, detention for a period not exceeding six months, reduction in rank in case of warrant officers, forfeiture – of all or any .part of service or promotion, forfeiture of service for the purpose of increased pay, or any other prescribed purpose in case of officers, junior commissioned officers, warrant officers and non-commissioned officers, severe reprimand or reprimand, forfeiture, fines and. stoppages of pay mentioned in sub-clauses (i) to (iv) of clause (f) of section 60, field punishment, special provisions regarding sentences, retention in the ranks of persons convicted on active service.
It may further be stated that Chapter VII contains section 64 to section 72, which deals with penal deductions, whereas Chapter VIII, which has section 73 to section 79, provides for arrest and proceedings before Trial.
It may also be mentioned that Chapter IX, which comprises section 80 to section 118, deals with Courts-martial. Section 80 provides four kinds of Courts-Martial, namely, .
(1) general Court-martial;
(2) district Court-martial;
(3) field general Court-martial; and
(4) summary Court-martial.
Section 81 deals with the power to convene general Courts-martial by providing that a general Court-martial may be convened by the Chief of Army Staff or by an officer empowered in this behalf by warrant of the Chief of the Army Staff. It may further be observed that section 82 deals with the power to convene district Court-martial by providing that a district Court-martial may be convened by an authority having power to convene a general Court-martial or by an officer empowered in this behalf by a warrant of any such authority. Section 83 empowers the convening authorities that while issuing a warrant under section 81 or section 82, it may provide such restrictions, reservations or conditions as the authority issuing it may think fit. It may further be pointed out that section 84 deals with the power to convene field general Court-martial by providing that the following authorities shall have power to convene a field general Court-martial, namely:–.
(a) an officer empowered in this behalf by an order of the Federal Government or of the Chief of the Army Staff;
(b) on active service, an officer commanding a portion of the, Pakistan Army, not below the rank of brigadier, if in the opinion of such officer commanding, such opinion to be recorded in writing and to be conclusive, it is not practicable with due regard to discipline and the exigencies of the service to try the alleged offender by a general Court martial.
It may also be observed that section 85 provides for composition of general Court-martial by laying down that a general Court-martial shall consist of not less than five officers each of whom has held a commission for not less than three whole years and of whom not less than four are of a rank not below that of captain. Whereas section 86 deals with the composition of district Court-martial by providing that a district Court-martial shall consist of not less than ‘ three officers each of whom has held a commission for a continuous period of not less than two years.
It may further be stated that section 87 provides for composition of field general Court-martial by laying down that a field general Court-martial shall consist of not less than three officers whereas section 88 gives the composition of summary Court-martial by providing that a summary Court-martial may be held by the commanding officer of any corps or unit or any detachment thereof.
It may be observed that proviso to subsection (1) of the above section lays down that for the trial of an offence mentioned in paragraph (iii) of clause (d) or clause (dd) of subsection (1) of section 2, a summary Court-martial may be held by an officer not below the rank of Captain empowered in this behalf an officer holding warrant ‘ B’ within the area of his command. Whereas subsection (2) thereof provides that at every summary Court-martial the officer holding the trial shall alone constitute the Court except in the case of an offence referred to in the above proviso to subsection (1), the proceedings shall be attended throughout by two officers or two junior commissioned officers or one officer and one junior commissioned officer who shall not as such be sworn or affirmed.