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CJP Requests a Copy of the Parliamentary Record for the SC Bill

CJP Bandial Requests Parliamentary Proceedings and Seeks Complete Responses from Parties in Historical Case Affecting the Independence of the Judiciary

In a recent development, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial has directed the Attorney General for Pakistan to provide copies of parliamentary proceedings related to the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023.

The bill, which limits the chief judge’s authority, has been made into a Parliamentary act. This directive aims to help you comprehend the concerns of lawmakers.

Three petitions opposing the bill were heard by the apex court’s larger eight-member bench. Justices Ijazul Ahsan, Munib Akhtar, Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Ayesha Malik, Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Shahid Waheed made up the bench in addition to Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial.

During the hearing, Barrister Salahuddin represented the PML-N, Farooq Naek appeared on behalf of the PPP, and Pasha appeared on behalf of the PBC.

There was a request from the Pakistan Bar Council not to include Justice Naqvi in the larger bench.

However, the CJP defended Justice Naqvi and observed that if the judges were not respected, then justice would not be respected. He clarified that it was the prerogative of the CJP to form benches under the SC Rules 1980.

During the hearing, Pasha requested the bench to form a full court minus a judge against whom complaints of misconduct were pending in the Supreme Judicial Council.

However, the CJP referred to the Iftikhar Chaudhry case judgement wherein it was held that no judge can be stopped from judicial work on account of pending reference against him or her.

The CJP rejected the PBC’s request for a full court, emphasising that all institutions were required to adhere to the guidance provided by the SC.

He criticised the fact that political organisations used “pick and choose” tactics because they desired favourable outcomes rather than justice.

Justice Bandial asserted that democracy was a fundamental tenet of the nation’s Constitution and that court orders to halt the SC bill were only “interim” in nature.

The ongoing case had an impact on the judiciary’s independence, according to CJP, who also emphasised the importance of the Constitution’s “independent judiciary and Centre.”

On May 8, the court requested thorough responses from all parties involved in the case, as well as the parliamentary records of the law and the standing committee’s discussions.

The AGP’s request for the anticipatory injunction on the law to be vacated was also denied by the top court. The CJP demanded an explanation of the law’s nature and motivations.

Justice Bandial added that an independent judiciary was a key component of the Constitution and that the law was the first of its kind in Pakistan and affected the third pillar of the state.

He added that it was being asserted for the first time that legislation violates a crucial aspect of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court anticipated that the parties in the case would make serious arguments, and that the large bench would be of “excellent assistance.” The proceeding was postponed until May 8.

Written by Imad Khan

Imad Khan has the skills and experience to deliver top-notch content that informs, engages, and inspires. He oftens explores nature in his free time.