Chief Justice requests parliamentary record on Judicial Reforms Bill 2023.
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan directed Attorney General for Pakistan to provide copies of Parliament proceedings regarding the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023.
The bill curtails the powers of the chief justice of Pakistan. CJP said that he wanted to see the concerns of the lawmakers.
Chief Justice issued this directive on Tuesday during the hearing of the petitions challenging the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023.
The Bill became the law in April this year after the approval by the Parliament.
The eight-member SC bench led by CJP Bandial consists of Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha Malik, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Shahid Waheed.
Barrister Salahuddin represented the PML-N, Farooq H. Naek appeared on behalf of the PPP, and Pasha appeared on behalf of the Pakistan Bar Council.
Chief Justice strongly defended Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi against the Pakistan Bar Council’s request not to include the judge in the larger bench.
Bandial again explained that it was the prerogative of CJP to form benches under the SC Rules 1980.
Pasha requested the bench to form a full court excluding Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi against whom complaints of misconduct were pending in the Supreme Judicial Council.
However, the chief justice did not agree to it and gave reference of former CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry case judgement which said that no judge can be stopped from work on account of pending reference.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial said the political parties want
to “pick and choose” the bench for their “desired judgments”.
The CJP remarked this while resuming hearing on the petitions challenging
the judicial law reforms bill, clipping the CJP’s powers. On Tuesday, the apex court adjourned the hearing after directing all political parties to submit their response in this case.
On Tuesday, an eight-member larger bench of the Supreme Court resumed
hearing of the case. The CJP Umar Ata Bandial-led bench consisted of Justice
Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi,
Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha A Malik, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar
Rizvi and Justice Shahid Waheed heard the case.
CJP Bandial said the bench will hear everyone after Attorney General for
Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan told the court that some parties in the case
want to address the bench via video link.
The top judge observed that important points, including the independence of the
judiciary, have been pointed out in the case and are “one of a kind”.
“Our stay order of the last hearing is in place. Law related to the Supreme
Court rules are very clear,” said CJP Bandial.
Chief Justice also ordered the parties in the case to submit written
arguments in the case.
He said that the judiciary has “reservations” over the law.
“Democracy is an important part of the Constitution and so is an independent
judiciary and the federation,” the chief justice said and wondered whether the
component of the judiciary can be changed.
The chief justice stressed that independence of the judiciary is a
Earlier, PTI lawyer Khawaja Tariq Rahim said that the judicial reform bill
has become the law.
Responding to this, the Supreme Court sought a record of the debate in the
Parliament and the standing committee on judicial reforms.