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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Saturday fixed a review petition against the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023 – a bill aims at depriving the office of the chief justice of Pakistan of powers to take suo motu notice in an individual capacity – for hearing on Monday (Sept 18).

The Registrar's Office has notified all relevant parties and it is being expected that a full court session will be convened to take up the matter at hand.

Chief Justice-designate Qazi Faez Isa will preside over the bench as he is set to take oath as top judge of the country Sunday (Sept 17).

Justice Isa says won’t sit on bench until SC bill case verdict

The last government of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) had enacted the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 in a bid to clip the chief justice’s powers to form benches and fix any case before him. The bill was passed by the parliament earlier.

However, an eight-judge bench, including the outgoing CJP Umar Ata Bandial, stayed the bill’s implementation after a set of three petitions challenging it.

The Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023, serves multiple purposes, including the delegation of suo motu notice-taking authority to a three-member committee composed of senior judges, including the chief justice. The bill aims to ensure transparent proceedings within the apex court and safeguard the right to appeal.

The bill outlines the constitution of benches, specifying that a committee consisting of the chief justice and the two most senior judges will be responsible for constituting benches to handle cases, and decisions will be reached by majority vote.

Regarding cases invoking the apex court’s original jurisdiction under Article 184(3), the bill stipulates that they must first be presented to the aforementioned committee for consideration.

Moreover, the bill grants the committee the authority to form a bench comprising at least three judges from the Supreme Court, which may include members of the committee itself, to adjudicate on matters of significant public importance relating to the enforcement of fundamental rights.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Fazeel Siddiqui (Overseas Pakistani) Sep 17, 2023 05:31pm
A great start by Qazi Faiz Issa.
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