ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s upper house of parliament on Thursday passed a set of legislation, restricting the authority of the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
The bill named Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Bill 2023 was passed by the Senate amid opposition commotion. Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar tabled the legislation in the Senate as the opposition chanted slogans against treasury benches. 60 votes were polled in favor of the contentious bill while 19 members opposed it.The tweaks in the rules of the country’s top court triggered a new debate as members of the former ruling party are calling it an attack on the judiciary.
In his speech on the floor, Law Minister you have to go through various periods to run institutions as time passes, suggesting a margin for changes for the law to function according to the latest needs.
He stressed collective thinking, rather one-man show in top institutions, as he questioned some of the previous suo-motu notices taken by judicial members.On Wednesday, National Assembly 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.
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.