Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faez Isa has highlighted the significance of Parliament’s capacity to enact beneficial measures, irrespective of its lack of a two-thirds majority required for constitutional amendments.
The hearing, chaired by CJP Isa and attended by fellow justices, convened to examine a series of petitions challenging the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023. This legislation mandates the establishment of benches to address constitutional matters through a committee of three senior judges.
Previously, the Supreme Court, under the leadership of former CJP Umar Ata Bandial, had blocked the government from enforcing a bill aimed at restricting the authority of the chief justice of Pakistan.
During the hearing, various legal experts, including SCBA President Abid Zuberi and PML-N lawyer Salahuddin Ahmed, presented their arguments.
Abid Zuberi, President of the SCBA, contended that Article 175(2) and Article 191 were invoked in the Act, emphasizing that sole authority to regulate the court’s practice and procedure rested with the Supreme Court.
CJP Isa raised questions about the constitutionality of the Act, particularly regarding the removal of six words from the Constitution, prompting a comprehensive discussion.
Zuberi argued that Article 191 imposed constraints on Parliament’s ability to legislate in this regard. CJP Isa encouraged Zuberi to elucidate the SCBA’s stance on the application of Article 184(3) in Pakistan.
The hearing also delved into the separation of powers and Parliament’s role in legislating. CJP Isa stressed that Parliament often had positive intentions when crafting laws. The discussion underscored the importance of distinguishing between sound and unsound legislation, with the Constitution serving as a guiding framework.