Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill’ sails through Senate

Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill’ sails through Senate

ISLAMABAD, Mar 30 (APP):The Senate has passed the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023 aimed at restructuring the suo motu powers of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, despite fierce opposition from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) legislators.

The bill received 60 votes in favour and 19 against, amid a chaotic scene in the Senate as PTI senators protested the decision.

The Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar moved the bill which was passed with majority votes.

The bill proposed that an appeal shall lie within thirty days from an order of a bench of the Supreme Court who exercised jurisdiction under clause (3) of the Article 184 of the Constitution to a larger bench of the Supreme Court and such appeal shall, for hearing, be fixed within a period not exceeding fourteen days.

According to the bill, the right of appeal under sub-section (1) shall also be available to an aggrieved person against whom an order has been made under clause (3) of Article 184 of the Constitution, prior to the commencement of this Act provided that the appeal under this subsection shall be filed within thirty days of the commencement of this Act.

According to the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, the bill would also ensure the right of the free trail and due process of Law as enshrined under Article 10A of the Constitution.

Earlier, moving the bill in the House, Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar said that 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 stopped,” he added.

He said it was prerogative of the Parliament to do legislation under Article 191 of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court’s rules were framed under Article 191 of the constitution and were promulgated in 1980.

He went on to say that Article 184 was excessively used in the past and some cases even executives were also pushed into the dock.

The country has to bear hefty billions of dollars in loss in cases like Reko Diq and Pakistan Steel Mills etc, he added.

He said the bill aims to have transparent proceedings in the apex court and it also includes the right to appeal.

He said that all institutions have to follow the laws passed by the Parliament. The minister quoted the Article 191 of the Constitution which says that subject to the constitution and law, the Supreme Court may make rules regulating the practice and procedure of the Court.

Tarar said that the bill includes the right to appeal, adding that it was time for the Parliament to legislate on it now.

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