NA passes bill to clip CJP's suo motu powers

NA passes bill to clip CJP's suo motu powers

Islamabad (Agencies): The National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday passed the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure), Bill 2023.

The bill was passed hours after National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Law and Justice gave its consent.

The bill was moved by Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar.

The bill proposes that every cause, appeal or matter before the Supreme Court shall be heard and disposed off by a bench constituted by a Committee comprising the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) and two senior most judges in order of seniority.

It further states any matter invoking exercise of original jurisdiction under clause (3) of Article 184 of the Constitution shall be first placed before the committee for examination and if the committee is of the view that a question of public importance with reference to enforcement of any of the fundamental rights is involved then it shall constitute a bench comprising not less than three judges of the apex court, which may also include the members of the committee for adjudication of the matter.

The bill recommends that an appeal shall lie within 30 days from the final order of a bench of the Supreme Court, which exercised jurisdiction to the larger bench of the apex court and such appeal shall for hearing be fixed within a period not exceeding fourteen days.

Furthermore, it grants a party the right to appoint counsel of its choice for filing a review application.

An application pleading urgency or seeking interim relief filed in a cause, appeal or matter shall be fixed for hearing within 14 days from the date of its filing.

The House also passed "The Lawyers Welfare and Protection Bill, 2023".

As per the official sources, the bill aims at protecting advocates from assaults, criminal force, intimidation and threats, while discharging their professional duties.