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Petitioner Who Challenged COAS’s Extension Has Filed Several Sensitive Petitions

The petitioner who challenged the extension of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has a history of filing sensitive petitions pertaining to political and constitutional issues.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the notification of extension in services of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa while hearing a petition regarding the matter.

The petition was filed by one Riaz Rahi, in which he had urged the court to declare the extension notice null and void. The timing of the petition was controversial in itself as General Bajwa is set to retire on November 28. The court is currently deliberating over the legality of the extension of the tenure.

After today’s hearing, Riaz Rahi had been asked by reporters outside court about who had asked him to submit the petition, to which he responded that he had highlighted the legality of the extension and this was not a personal thing.

What is intriguing is the fact that the same petitioner has in the past filed numerous petitions regarding political and constitutional affairs, that have resulted in controversy per se, or have generated debate about judicial activism.

In April 2018, Riaz Rahi had challenged Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court. What had resulted in much debate over the petition was the fact the judge was a credible figure in the judiciary and was also known for his no-nonsense verdicts.

In March 2018, Riaz Rahi had filed two petitions against the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, calling for contempt of court proceedings to be initiated against him.

In July 2017, the same person had filed a petition urging a halt to the transfers and postings of all public servants by the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, until a final decision was made in the Panama case against Nawaz Sharif in the Supreme Court.

Rahi had also submitted a petition in the Islamabad High Court in December 2013 calling for the constitution of a special court for the trial of former president General Parvez Musharraf, a petition which had been rejected.

Riaz Rahi’s petitions have frequently faced dismissal by the court, with penalties being imposed on him.

In August 2015, a fine of Rs10,000 had been imposed on Rahi by Justice Faez Isa.

In 2014, judge of the IHC, Justice Shaukat Siddiqui had levied a fine of Rs100,000 on Riaz Rahi. In the same year, Justice Athar Minallah had imposed a fine of Rs10,000 on him for submitting frivolous petitions challenging judicial policy.

In 2005, Riaz Rahi had received a fine of Rs30,000 and a jail sentence of one month for misbehaving with a judge.

In 2010, Rahi had challenged the reinstatement of chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, and later, his entry into the apex court’s premises was temporarily blocked.


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Naya Daur