The apex court is set to take up the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act case tomorrow.
A full court bench headed by the newly minted Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Qazi Faez Isa will chair the hearing of the case of a review petition against the law that aims at curtailing the powers of the chief justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notices unilaterally.
The bench, previously headed by former CJP Umar Ata Bandial, had issued a stay order on the Practice and Procedure Act.
The SC Registrar’s Office has issued notices to all the parties concerned.
The outgoing government of the PDM had had introduced the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023, aimed at limiting the authority of the CJP to establish benches and fix cases before them. It had been approved by parliament.
However, its implementation was halted by an eight-judge bench, which included the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP), in response to three petitions challenging its validity.
The SC (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 had several objectives, including granting the authority to take suo motu notices to a three-member committee comprised of senior judges, including the CJP. The primary goal was to ensure transparency in the proceedings of the highest court and protect the right to appeal.
The law stipulated the formation of benches, specifying that a committee consisting of the CJP and the two most senior judges would be responsible for constituting benches to hear cases, with decisions being made by a majority vote.
For cases falling under the original jurisdiction of the apex court as per Article 184(3) of the Constitution, the bill mandated that they must first be presented to the above-mentioned committee for deliberation.