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Saturday July 13, 2024

SC defers pleas against law clipping CJP powers

The bench could not proceed due to the non-availability of one of the bench members, court staff said

By Sohail Khan
June 09, 2023
Police personals walk outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad on July 25, 2022. — AFP
Police personals walk outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad on July 25, 2022. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) has postponed for date-in-office (indefinite period of time) the hearing of petitions challenging the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 due to the non-availability of one of the bench members. An eight-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Umer Bandial, was scheduled to resume hearing the petitions on Thursday. However, the court staff informed the media that the bench could not proceed due to the non-availability of one of the bench members. The staff asked the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP), as well as counsel for the petitioners, to meet CJP Bandial in the meeting room. Other members of the bench included Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha Malik, Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Shahid Waheed.

Meanwhile, it was learnt AGP Mansoor Usman Awan informed the chief justice that no immediate legislation could be passed to reconcile the two laws since parliament was engaged in the budget session. The AGP requested the court to hear the case after the budget session. Later, the matter was postponed for an indefinite time period. On the last hearing, the AGP had told the court that the government had enacted two laws, the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023 and the Supreme Court (Review of Judgments and Orders) Act 2023. He submitted that both the laws had similarities in sections of review and hiring a lawyer. The court had suspended the bill before it was enacted. However, on April 21, the bill became a law, though its implementation was halted by the court.