- Decision taken by three-member bench
The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Wednesday clubbed together pleas against the recently-enacted Supreme Court (Review of Judgments and Orders) Act 2023 with the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) petition demanding the apex court to revisit its April 4 ruling.
The ruling on April 4 had directed the government to hold polls for the Punjab Assembly on May 14.
The decision to club was taken by a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial as it conducted the hearing of the ECP’s petition on Wednesday.
Bandial said “the court will try to make a decision on the ECP plea for reviewing the verdict on the Punjab elections at the earliest”.
“We have received some petitions. The matter of the Review Order Act has to be seen at this stage,” CJP Bandial said.
He said that the court would issue a notice to the Attorney General for Pakistan, after which the bench will hear the ECP’s review plea under the Review Order Act.
The CJP asked Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar to give his views on the Review Order Act.
“The same matter was raised in the SC Practice and Procedure Act, on which the Supreme Court has given a stay,” the lawyer contended. “The new law is inconsistent with the Constitution and is a continuation of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023.”
The Supreme Court (Review of Judgements and Orders) Bill, 2023 was passed by the National Assembly on April 15 and it is aimed at giving a right of appeal under Article 184 of the constitution – a right which was not available in the past.
The bill states that a review petition may be filed within 60 days of the passing of the original order.
The statement of objects and reasons of the bill, “it is necessary to ensure the fundamental right to justice by providing for meaningful review of judgments and orders passed by Supreme Court of Pakistan in exercise of its original jurisdiction under Article 184”.