- Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial welcomes proposal
Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan said on Thursday that the government will review the Supreme Court (Practice & Procedure) Act, 2023 that is aimed at clipping the powers of Chief Justice of Pakistan.
During a hearing of a set of petitions against the Supreme Court (Practice & Procedure) Act, 2023, he stated that the federal government will review the legislation and take into account the judiciary’s advice.
Subsequently, the SC adjourned the hearing of the case till next week. An eight-member bench conducted the hearing.
“The law deals with several other aspects in addition to suo moto powers of Chief Justice of Pakistan,” said Awan. “It is highly extensive and includes provisions related to the internal affairs of the court.”
Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial stated that the government should consult with SC when making laws related to the judiciary. The CJP also welcomed Awan’s proposal.
Particulars of the legislature
The Supreme Court (Practice & Procedure) Act, 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 states that a party would have the right to appoint its counsel of choice for filing a review application under Article 188 of the Constitution.