Major development reported in petitions against SC Procedure Act 2023
The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday adjourned the hearing of a raft of petitions against the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 after it was informed that the federal government had decided to review the newly-enacted law.
Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan said the government wanted to revisit the legislation and this time it will introduce amendments in consultation with the judiciary.
An eight-judge larger bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha Malik, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Shahid Waheed conducted the hearing which was put off shortly after it commenced.
As the hearing was set into motion on Thursday, AGP Mansoor hurried towards the rostrum and said the law pertaining to the CJP’s suo motu powers dealt with several other aspects as well.
Referring to the Supreme Court (Practice & Procedure) Act, 2023 and the Supreme Court (Review of Judgements and Order) Act 2023, the AGP maintained: “We have two laws and both have similarities in the sections of review and hiring a lawyer.”
AGP Awan highlighted that the Supreme Court (Practice & Procedure) Act, 2023 was more extensive and included provisions related to the internal affairs of the court. “It is necessary to arrive at a solution regarding which of the two legislations can be relied upon,” he added.
CJP Bandial intervened, saying “We are happy that the government and the Parliament are bringing amendments to overlapping laws. The government should consult with the apex court when making laws related to the judiciary,” he observed, pointing out that sections 4 and 6 were similar in the review judgments law.
The CJP further remarked that the Parliament could be told to look into the harmonization of both the laws. “We welcome your proposal,” he added.
The AGP then said the legislation done on the top court’s administrative matters did not take into account the judiciary’s advice. “Amendments to the law will now be made with the Supreme Court’s consultation. Other than the legislations, advice will also be sought on other matters,” he added.