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The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned hearing on a set of petitions challenging the (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023 till tomorrow (Tuesday).

The proceedings on the pleas were aired live. The hearing is likely to resume tomorrow at 11:30am.

Practice and procedure act: CJP Isa says last hearing to be held on Oct 9

During the hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faez Isa made remarks that the Parliament should not be hampered from “doing good” just because it lacked the two-thirds majority required for passing a constitutional amendment.

The full court bench that is hearing the petitions is led by CJP Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha A. Malik, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Justice Shahid Waheed and Justice Musarrat Hilali.

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Abid Zuberi quoted a verdict of a New Jersey court to defend his objections to the law during the hearing. The CJP expressed his displeasure and said “at least cite the decision of the US Supreme Court”.

In the last session, the bench questioned why everyone surrendered when the martial laws were imposed, but agitated when the Parliament passed laws and challenged them in courts.

The chief justice said; “When the martial laws were imposed in the country then everyone surrendered, but bring the laws, passed by the Parliament in the courts.”

Justice Faez said the Parliament’s stand is that it is not usurping the rights of the Supreme Court, but enhancing its jurisdiction. Once the apex court passed a judgment under Article 184 (3) of the constitution then there is no appeal against it, adding the Parliament has provided a forum to review judgments passed under the Article.

The bench had said that October 9 (today) will be the last hearing.

The bill

The previous Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) led government 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 this year.

However, an eight-judge bench, including the former 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.

SC terms Practice, Procedure Act ‘attack on judiciary’s freedom’

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.

Comments

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Shahid Khan Oct 09, 2023 11:01am
This case is useless and Qazi SB is just wasting time..people have gone missing and fundamental rights have been violated. This is crazy
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Parvez Oct 09, 2023 11:17am
All pomp and show ..... Lesson to be learnt from what happened in Israel when Natanyahu bulldozed a similar bill stripping the Israel SC of its powers.....and the people stood up and objected, driving a wedge between the people and those that mattter.
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Awais Sattar Siddiqui Oct 09, 2023 01:14pm
Shame on this chief justice for wasting public time on useless issues. Dear Supreme Court decision was thrown in dustbin by PDM and there's no rule of law. What a shame
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KU Oct 09, 2023 01:45pm
During the last hearing, the CJ quoted the Indian parliament and Indian SC and said, ''There is no evidence that the Indian SC ever opposes the Indian parliament's legislation''. But in today's proceedings, CJ objected to Mr. Zuberi's reference to noninterference by the US government in US SC and said, ''Why do you refer to US SC legislations and laws, we are in Pakistan, let's talk about our issues''. Are these proceedings supposed to give us confidence?
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Johnny Walker Oct 09, 2023 04:14pm
Compromised munsif. What else can you expect. Nawaz in control.
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Lubna Oct 09, 2023 07:25pm
Read comments and happy. Qazi sb this is the era of twitter and social media, this drama would not long last.
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Jk Oct 09, 2023 08:29pm
A pack of spineless species!
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Adnan Oct 09, 2023 09:04pm
Now there is a new showbaaz..our CJ showbaz
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