‘If enacted earlier, law on suo motu powers would have saved Nasla Tower dwellers’

By Our Correspondent
March 31, 2023

The residents of the ill-fated Nasla Tower in Karachi would not have lost their abodes had the fresh amendment to the law granting the right to appeal against judgments in suo motu proceedings been earlier introduced.

This was stated by Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister on Law Barrister Murtaza Wahab while speaking at a press conference on Thursday. Wahab, who also acts as the spokesman for the Sindh government, said that a defendant as per the constitution should get the right to file an appeal against the judgment issued as a result of the suo motu powers of the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

He said Parliament should earlier have done the legislation to grant the right to appeal to the affected residents of Nasla Tower for saving their homes. He said that similar amendments if earlier introduced would have stopped undue judicial interference in the cases of rental power plants and Reko Diq mining.

He welcomed the recent move of Parliament to amend the functioning of the top judiciary in the country. He said the recent amendments had been passed by the duly elected representatives of the people.

He said that as the federal government did not just mean the prime minister alone, the Supreme Court does not just mean the office of chief justice.

Wahab informed the journalists that the Constitution defined the powers and functions of Parliament, executive and judiciary. He said the Constitution had already empowered the government to determine the number of judges to serve in the apex judiciary.

He said Parliament had validly taken up the issue of defining the judicial suo motu powers. He appreciated the recent amendment passed by Parliament under which a panel of three senior judges would decide the matters related to suo-motu powers of the Supreme Court.

He said the Constitution clearly defined the powers of the Supreme Court and the apex judiciary was made of all the honourable judges, not the chief justice alone. Wahab said that similarly in the case of governance, the prime minister and chief minister alone did not run the affairs of the federal government and provinces as the federal and provincial cabinets collectively took decisions in this regard as per the rulings of the judiciary.