CJP Advocates for Parliament’s Freedom to Act for the Common Good

Ali Haider

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faez Isa stressed that Parliament should not be hindered by the lack of a two-thirds majority when pursuing actions that benefit the nation.

Justice Isa made this assertion during a hearing focused on a set of petitions challenging the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023. This act requires the establishment of benches to address constitutional matters of public importance, a process overseen by a committee of three senior judges of the court.

The bench, led by CJP Isa and comprising several other justices, resumed the live-streamed hearing.

Previously, the Supreme Court, under the leadership of former CJP Umar Ata Bandial, had blocked the government from implementing a bill designed to curtail the authority of the Chief Justice of Pakistan once enacted.

During the hearing, various lawyers, including SCBA President Abid Zuberi and PML-N lawyer Salahuddin Ahmed, presented their arguments.

CJP Isa adjourned the hearing to the following day, designating it as the final day of proceedings.

Abid Zuberi, President of the SCBA, contended that Article 175(2) and Article 191 were referenced in the Act, underscoring that only the Supreme Court possessed the jurisdiction to establish rules governing the court’s practice and procedures, excluding Parliament.

However, CJP Isa raised concerns about the potential consequences of the Act on the Constitution, prompting a discussion on its constitutionality.

Zuberi argued that Article 191 restricted Parliament’s legislative authority in this context, while CJP Isa suggested that Zuberi present SCBA’s position on the application of Article 184(3), a contentious issue in Pakistan.

The hearing also delved into the principles of the separation of powers and Parliament’s role in crafting legislation. CJP Isa emphasized that Parliament often had positive intentions when creating laws. The conversation emphasized the necessity of distinguishing between sound and flawed legislation and the Constitution’s role in this determination.

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