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Thursday April 18, 2024

Bill clipping CJP’s powers challenged in SC, IHC

The bill is aimed at curtailing the powers of the chief justice, including the suo motu and the formation of benches

By News Desk
April 12, 2023
The Supreme Court of Pakistan building in Islamabad. The SCP website.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan building in Islamabad. The SCP website.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) bill 2023 has been challenged in the Supreme Court and the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The bill is aimed at curtailing the powers of the chief justice, including the suo motu and the formation of benches. The PTI has strongly condemned the move to pass the legislation and said it was an “attack on the judiciary”.

Advocate Mohammad Shafay Munir filed a petition in the top court and made the federal government a party in the plea. The petition stated that the bill should be declared unconstitutional and illegal.

As per the petition, the Supreme Court has the authority to make rules of the apex court. “The changes made by the parliament in the Supreme Court’s Rules are illegal,” it added.

The plea also said that legislation related to court is “malicious”, adding that the powers of the Supreme Court cannot be limited through an Act of Parliament under Article 70. The petition has been filed in the apex court under Article 184(3).

Meanwhile, the amendments made in the bill have also been challenged in the Islamabad High Court by lawyer Saeed Aftab in a separate plea, who requested the court to nullify the proposed bill. According to the petition, the basic demand was the right to appeal against the verdicts under Article 184. “The right to appeal could be granted without curtailing the powers of the chief justice of Pakistan,” read the petition. The petition stated that the right to file an intra-court appeal, like in the high courts, could have been given.