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Pakistan

Bill curtailing Chief Justice’s powers becomes law, says National Assembly

  • According to the law, the CJP can no longer take suo moto notice in individual capacity
Published April 21, 2023

The Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023, which aims to curtail the powers of the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) to take suo moto notices, has become a law, according to a tweet posted by the National Assembly’s official Twitter account.

This comes amid a standoff between the government and the judiciary over elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) is deemed to have been assented by the President W.e.f 21 April 2023, under Clause (2) of the Article 75 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It is hereby published for general information,” read the tweet.

According to the law, the CJP can no longer take suo moto notice in an individual capacity, rather he and two senior judges need to make the decision together.

Senate approves bill to curtail powers of chief justice

Last month, a simple majority in the NA had passed the bill after the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) withdrew its proposed amendments. Later, the Senate approved the law.

National Assembly passes bill to curtail CJP’s powers

However, the bill was struck down by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which barred the government from implementing it whether the President signed it or not.

Earlier this week, President Dr Arif Alvi had sent back the bill without signing it.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, while hearing the plea, observed that the apex court held parliament in high esteem.

Supreme Court bars govt from implementing judicial reforms bill

He noted that the independence of the judiciary was an important matter but at the same time said that he had the utmost respect for the parliament.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan also ordered the government of Pakistan to hold elections for provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on May 14 however, the government has not released funds for it.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had earlier submitted their respective reports to the Supreme Court (SC) regarding the release of Rs21 billion for polls.

On Thursday, SC adjourned the hearing on a petition seeking simultaneous general elections to all the national and provincial assemblies in Pakistan.

It had asked all political parties to reach a consensus but its order as not fulfilled.

Comments

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KU Apr 21, 2023 08:38pm
Very democratic?? If they can't muscle through their way, might as well change the laws and power of the Supreme Court to have their way unchecked. In their hands, the nation is surely gutted.
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Tulukan Mairandi Apr 21, 2023 08:49pm
Great. Next there should be a bill setting examplary punishments to judges who deliberately undermine the elected government, including the death penalty
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Mushtaqq Apr 22, 2023 03:18am
I can't imagine what an early election will accomplish during a turbulent economic time. It will just cause greater harm than good. I must say I do not care for any of the present leaders. So.im impartial. I think they should all be disqualified and a new leadership should be given a chance.
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