Petition Filed in LHC against Bill Curtailing Top Judge’s Powers

Wed Apr 12 2023
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

LAHORE: A petition was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday challenging Section Four of the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Bill 2023, which gives the right to appeal against decisions in suo-moto cases. The writ petition requested the court to declare the text ultra vires of the Constitution.

The joint sitting of parliament (Senate and National Assembly) passed the bill with amendments days after President Dr. Arif Alvi returned it seeking to curtail the Chief Justice of Pakistan’s powers to initiate suo motu cases and constitute benches amid protest by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s senators.

In the petition submitted, the petitioner requested the court to suspend the operation of the aforementioned section till the disposal of the petition.

It also requested the court to ask the Cabinet Division and Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs as to why the Constitution was violated.

Citizen Mushkoor Hussain filed the petition through his advocate Nadeem Sarwar.

It argued that the bill was passed by both chambers of parliament and sent to the president for final approval, but he returned it for review. Then it was soon passed by the joint sitting of the parliament.

Apex court’s jurisdiction

The petition said that Article 184 of the Constitution dealt with the original Jurisdiction of the apex court. under Article 184(3), the supreme court enjoyed original jurisdiction in public importance matters brought before it to enforce fundamental rights.

It underlined that the article did not provide an appeal right against any order given under Article 184, while Article 185 deals with the appellate jurisdiction of the apex court.

The petition further said that Section Four of the bill was repugnant to Constitutional Articles 184 and 185. It added that the only way to provide the appeal right against an order passed under Article 184 is to include it through amendments in these articles.

It said that the respondents have no legislative competence to expand the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction without amendments to the Constitution.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp