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ISLAMABAD: Despite Supreme Court’s directive, the National Assembly on Friday notified the conversion of Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 – which aims to curtail the suo motu powers of the office of the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) – into an Act.

The National Assembly Secretariat notified that the bill of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) deemed to have been assented by the president (with effect from April 21, 2023) under Clause (2) of the Article 75 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

In the light of completion of all legal rules and regulations, the law was sent for gazette publication.

‘Controversial’ SC bill to become law today nevertheless

Earlier, President Arif Alvi had refused for a second time to approve the legislation aimed at limiting some key powers of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

President Alvi sent back the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 to Parliament for a second time for reconsideration, citing ongoing litigation over the matter as the reason.

The bill was first approved by the Cabinet late last month and then passed by both the National Assembly and the Senate, but the president refused to sign it into law, terming it “colorable legislation” that was “beyond the competence of Parliament.”

He returned it for reconsideration on April 8 and a joint parliamentary sitting reapproved it two days later, despite opposition from Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). President Alvi is a senior member of the PTI.

The passed bill – the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023 – aims at giving the power of taking suo motu notice to a three-member committee comprising senior judges including Chief Justice. It also aims to have transparent proceedings in the apex court and includes the right to appeal.

Regarding the constitution of benches, the bill states that every cause, matter or appeal before the apex court would be heard and disposed of by a bench constituted by a committee comprising the CJP and the two senior-most judges. It added that the decisions of the committee would be taken by a majority.

Regarding exercising the apex court’s original jurisdiction, the bill said that any matter invoking the use of Article 184(3) would first be placed before the abovementioned committee.

The bill says that if the committee is of the view that a question of public importance with reference to the enforcement of any of the fundamental rights conferred by Chapter I of Part II of the Constitution is involved, it shall constitute a bench comprising not less than three judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan which may also include the members of the committee, for adjudication of the matter.

The bill additionally said that a party would have the right to appoint its counsel of choice for filing a review application under Article 188 of the Constitution.

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Abdullah Apr 22, 2023 08:45am
We are tired of there suo motos.Wity back lof of 50000 casss they are busy doing suo motos
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Javed Apr 22, 2023 12:40pm
No one is above rule of law…there must accountability…its 21st century…no more extra judicial actions and activities! What a pity country is run by a group of arrogant ignorant morons!
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Mark Apr 22, 2023 06:36pm
CJ bandial and his like minded's ego is bigger than the will of the people.( i.e. The Parliament).
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