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Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial said on Tuesday that political parties wanted to “pick and choose” the Supreme Court bench for “desired judgments”.

While conducting a hearing of the petition challenging the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023, which has now been adjourned till Monday, he said that parties wanted decisions that worked in their favour, not justice.

“A demand for constituting a full court had also been put forth during the hearing of the case concerning holding elections in the country,” he said.

Democracy is a key component of Pakistan’s constitution, he added.

“A free judiciary and government are important features of the Constitution,” he said.

He stressed that the court expected “serious arguments” from the parties in the case, adding that the large bench would have to provide “excellent assistance”.

Bandial remarked that the law in question was the first of its kind in Pakistan. “This law concerns the third pillar of the state,” he said.

He said that there was no changing the fact that an independent judiciary was a main feature of the constitution. “It is being alleged that for the first time, a fundamental component of the constitution has been violated through a piece of legislation.”

He also highlighted that several references had been filed against one of the members of the current SC bench in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and called for Justice Ali Akber Naqvi to be excluded from the bench.

Justice Bandial remarked that constituting a full court was the CJP’s prerogative. He went on to say that a reference could not bar a judge from working.

“A judge can’t be stopped from working until the SJC gives its opinion,” the CJP said, adding that the court had made the same decision during the proceedings against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

“Complaints against judges, including me, come from time to time,” the CJP said, adding that political matters had “polluted” the top court’s environment.

He observed that all the country’s institutions were bound to implement the directives issued by the top court. The PBC’s request for a full court was subsequently rejected.

The court also rejected the attorney general’s request for vacating the anticipatory injunction on the law.

The Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023 is aimed at curtailing CJP’s powers and it was passed by a joint parliament session last month. The SC challenged it, urging it to be declared unconstitutional and of no legal effect.

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Truthseeker May 03, 2023 02:39am
Because the apoliticals are out of control! No resoect for the rule of law..constitution!
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