LAHORE: The caretaker government of Punjab is facing legal complications in taking action under the Army Act 1952 against miscreants who attacked and vandalised government property and military installations, including the Corps Commander House in Lahore and the GHO, during arson attacks on May 9. Reliable sources have told Daily Jang that the Army Act had been amended on January 7, 2015, for two years after the terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014. The amendment, known as 21st Constitutional Amendment, was adopted unanimously by the National Assembly.
In 2017, the 23rd Amendment was passed to ensure the 21st Amendment to the Army Act was enforceable for two more years. That extension ended on January 6, 2019. Now, the sources say, miscreants involved in May 9-like incidents cannot be tried and punished under the Army Act. They say that since the Army Act is a federal subject, it can be changed only through a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly. According to the sources, higher authorities have been advised to get the miscreants punished through trials in anti-terrorism courts since cases have been registered against them under a section of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.