Islamabad [Pakistan], September 18 (ANI): Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa has constituted the full court comprising all 15 judges of the Supreme Court to take up a set of nine challenges to the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023 on Monday, Dawn reported.
Dawn is a Pakistani English-language newspaper.
The Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023 requires the formation of benches on constitutional matters of public importance by a committee of three senior judges of the court.
The Supreme Court bench headed by CJP Qazi Faez Isa, consists of Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha A. Malik, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Justice Shahid Waheed and Justice Musarrat Hilali.
Pakistan's previous Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government had enacted the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 aimed at limiting the powers of the top judge. The legislation deprives the CJP of powers to take suo motu notice in an individual capacity.
The law states that a three-member bench, comprising the CJP and the two senior-most judges of the apex court, will decide whether or not to take up a matter suo motu. Previously, this was solely the prerogative of the CJP.
The law also adds to the review jurisdiction of Supreme Court, giving the right to file an appeal within 30 days of the judgement in suo motu cases.
An eight-judge SC bench headed by former CJP Umar Ata Bandial, had suspended the enforcement of the Supreme Court (PracticeProcedure) Act, 2023 on April 13.
It is expected that the court proceedings may be streamed live.
Earlier on March 24, 2022, Justice Munib Akhtar described an application of Justice Isa for public broadcast and live court coverage of his review petition as novel and ordered the matter to be referred to the CJP for deliberation and appropriate action by the full court.
The matter was referred in view of the evolving practice of courts around the world and acknowledging the benefits of technology for the justice system, Justice Akhtar had observed in a judgement he authored, as per Dawn.
On April 13, 2021, the Supreme Court by a majority of six to four dismissed Justice Isa's application seeking permission for live streaming of the hearing of his review petitions.
Justice Akhtar observed that technological developments should be monitored and appreciated to ensure that access to justice for litigants was constantly improving.