Tuesday June 06, 2023

SC judges Faez Isa, Afridi take notice of cases allocation method in apex court

SC summons apex court's registrar along with all relevant records

February 28, 2023
Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Yahya Afridi. — Supreme Court of Pakistan website
Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Yahya Afridi. — Supreme Court of Pakistan website

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court judges Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Faez Isa took on Tuesday notice of the method being used to allocate cases in the apex court.

During a hearing related to allocation of cases to specific benches, Justice Afridi inquired what the procedure of fixing cases for hearing in the apex court was.

Meanwhile, Justice Isa stressed on transparency in the process of cases allocation, saying that he was an SC judge and had also been the chief justice of Balochistan High Court for five years.

"How will there be transparency if the registrar transfers a case from one bench to another?" he questioned.

"It seems like the registrar has more power than a judge like me," he added.

The justice said that he can't hear the cases from 2010 as the registrar picks the cases for allocation to benches by himself.

"Can I ask the registrar to appoint a specific case to a specific bench?" Justice Isa asked.

At this, the registrar said that the hearing of the cases is scheduled only after Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial's approval.

"The bench included Justice Hasan Rizvi. Why did it change?" questioned Justice Afridi.

He inquired how the cases were fixed.

Former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) former president Amanullah said that people have tired themselves out by asking but their cases are not fixed for hearing.

"What is the policy of fixing cases?" Justice Isa asked the SC registrar.

He said that the court had ordered the registrar on April 2, 2022, to set the procedure for scheduling cases.

Justice Isa said that there is no transparency while fixing cases at the registrar's office. 

Justice Isa also asked the registrar for a reason of changing his and Justice Afridi's bench.

"Changing the benches without informing creates doubts in people's minds," he said.

At this, the registrar said that the proposal for changing the bench was prepared on verbal directives issued by the chief justice's staff officer.

"Chief justice's staff officer said that it was chief justice's directive that the judges' roster should be changed," he added. 

At this, Justice Isa apologised to the petitioners and the lawyers that he cannot conduct the hearing today. 

Later, the court directed the SC registrar to appear before it along with all the relevant records.