National Assembly passed Supreme Court practice and procedure Bill 2023

National Assembly passed Supreme Court practice and procedure Bill 2023

ISLAMABAD — The National Assembly on Wednesday passed the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Bill, 2023 that aims to curtail power of Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo moto notice.

The bill was presented by Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar, according to the state broadcaster.

The Bill aims at giving the power of taking suo motu notice to a three-member committee comprising senior judges including Chief Justice.

It further states any matter invoking exercise of original jurisdiction under clause (3) of Article 184 of the Constitution shall be first placed before the committee for examination and if the committee is of the view that a question of public importance with reference to enforcement of any of the fundamental rights is involved then it shall constitute a bench comprising not less than three judges of the apex court, which may also include the members of the committee for adjudication of the matter.

It recommends that an appeal shall lie within 30 days from the final order of a bench of the Supreme Court, which exercised jurisdiction to the larger bench of the apex court and such appeal shall for hearing be fixed within a period not exceeding fourteen days.

Expressing his views, Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar said it was the demand of the bar associations and councils to introduce the bill and they have supported the bill. “This bill was an old demand of the Bar Council which said that indiscriminate use of 184(3) should be halted,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehmany said that legislation like Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 was the sovereign and constitutional right of parliament.

She said, “We have for the first time seen such a situation of division and indecisiveness in Pakistan. This division is not good for the benches, courts and the country because rule of law and legislation is the right of the parliament that has been asserted today.”

Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif said the Parliament was not usurping the powers of the top court but rather legislating as per its constitutional right.