Wednesday July 17, 2024

SHCBA lauds bill aimed at curtailing CJP’s suo motu powers

By Jamal Khurshid
April 01, 2023

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) on Friday lauded the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 approved by both the National Assembly and Senate to limit the chief justice of Pakistan’s (CJP) powers to take suo motu notice in an individual capacity.

The SHCBA also commended the judgment authored by the SC judges Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, in which they raised important questions on the independence of the judiciary and the need to ensure that the Supreme Court operates as an institution and not merely as a ‘one-man show’.

Adopting a resolution, the SHCBA said the bar association has time and again demanded that power to initiate suo motu proceedings should be structured and regulated properly and it should not be based on individual whims and wishes of the chief justice of Pakistan.

It further said that the power to constitute benches should also be structured and regulated as per mechanism duly notified which should not be deviated under any circumstances whatsoever and all judges of the Supreme Court should be treated equally.

The bar was of the view that the process of appointment of judges needs to be revised as in fact the process of appointment of judges cannot achieve transparency unless the objective criteria for their appointment is formulated.

The bar said that unfortunately, many of these issues have been raised by the chief justices and judges of the court but they have not been considered. It also said that it is necessary to make suitable amendments to the Supreme Court Rules 1980 and Judicial Commission of Pakistan Rules 2010. The SHCBA lauded the proposed Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023, whereby the parliament has finally assumed its legislative responsibility under Article 191 of the Constitution to remedy the situation. However, it said that its retrospective applicability may open a Pandora’s box. The bar further said that such step would not only aid in strengthening the independence of the judiciary but it would also bring transparency in the dispensation of justice to the common man.