ISLAMABAD: Terming the Practice and Procedure Act against the constitution and an attack on freedom of judiciary, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial said on Tuesday that the Act had shaken the very foundation of that freedom.
The CJP made these remarks during the hearing of the case against NAB amendments.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, headed by the CJP, heard the case.
CJP Bandial said that the Act was an interference in the administrative affairs of the SC. “The remedy given under the legislation is nowhere mentioned in the constitution,” he said, adding, “The question now is whether the apex court should stop hearing the cases.”
Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that all that the court wanted was that such amendments should be introduced to the law which were in harmony with the constitution.
He further said that the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) had talked about compatibility between Practice and Procedure Act and Review of Judgment Act. “The AGP had sought more time from the court on June 1, 2023, while on June 8, he had said that the parliament would make improvements in the legislation after the budget session was over.
The chief justice said he had no idea as to what was the government’s opinion on the law presently. “Should we stop hearing of the cases in the light of the law that had been suspended?” he questioned. Makhdoom Ali Khan, counsel for the government, prayed to the court to exercise extreme caution before declaring any Act null and void.
“The law continues to exist unless it is revisited,” he said. CJP Bandial told government’s lawyer that the apex court was not going to annul any law. Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said his question was whether the case should be heard when ‘stay’ had already been granted or whether a ‘full court’ should be formed.