CJ to consult colleagues for bench formation
A full court is hearing petitions filed against the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023, a piece of legislation that seeks to regulate the powers of the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP).
However, CJP Qazi Faez Isa will be consulting with his two senior most colleagues with regard to constitution of benches and listing of cases according to the law whose operation was suspended by a larger bench led by former CJP Umar Ata Bandial on April 13.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a brief written order with regard to its eight-hour long proceedings—on September 18—on petitions filed against the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023. These proceedings were live telecast for the first time in the country’s history.
The order noted that in view of the challenges thrown to the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 and the fact that the matter is pending adjudication, CJP Isa will be consulting with his two senior most colleagues with regard to constitution of benches and listing of cases.
“Both of them [Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Ijazul Ahsan] have agreed [to this consultation],” it added.
The order stated that as a full court has been formed to hear the petitions, the applications seeking formation of a full court “have borne fruit” and are, therefore, disposed of.
Right after being sworn in as the CJP, Justice Isa had announced forming a full court to hear petitions filed against the act.
The court stated that on September 18, it partially heard the counsel for the petitioners as well as Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan regarding the question of the petitions’ maintainability.
The order said the AGP informed the bench that he had to attend a very important meeting in Vienna with regard to the Indus Waters Treaty, 1960, requesting the court to hear his arguments on the merits of the case later, upon his return to the country.
“During the hearing a number of queries were made by different members of the bench and the learned counsels and the AGP sought time to submit written replies. They and the other counsels/[parties] may submit their replies/submissions by or before September 25, 2023.”
The order stated that the full court will resume the petitions’ hearing on October 3.