Cabinet approves bill aimed at curbing CJP’s powers to take suo motu notice, constitute benchesPakistan
The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill aimed at curtailing the chief justice of Pakistan’s (CJP) powers to take suo motu notices and constituting benches of the Supreme Court.
The cabinet summary, available with Dawn.com, for the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023, said the exercise of original jurisdiction by the apex court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution was a “subject of discussion by various forums”.
A day ago, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail of the Supreme Court (SC) had called for revisiting the power of the “one-man show” enjoyed by the chief justice, saying that the country’s top court could not “be dependent on the solitary decision of one man”.
The two had made the remarks in a detailed dissenting note — released on Monday hours after the SC took up the PTI’s plea challenging the postponement of elections in Punjab — for the top court’s March 1 verdict regarding holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the two provincial assemblies have been dissolved.
The two judges said the suo motu proceedings regarding the provincial elections stood dismissed by a majority of 4-3 and contended that the CJP did not have the power to restructure benches without the consent of the respective judges.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif hailed the dissenting note as a “ray of hope” during his National Assembly speech and called for relevant legislation in its wake.