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Pakistan Parliament Passes Bill To Curtail Chief Justice's Suo Moto Powers

Parliament

Pakistan Parliament has recently passed a bill to curtail the Suo Moto powers of the Chief Justice of the country. 

The move has sparked a lot of debate and controversy, with many people expressing their concern over the implications of this bill on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law in Pakistan. 

In this articlewe will discuss the details of the Pakistan Parliament bill, its potential impact on the judiciary, and the reactions of various stakeholders to this development.

Overview of the Bill (Pakistan Parliament)

National Assembly

The bill, titled the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) (Amendment) Bill, 2023, seeks to amend the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1997, which determines the number of judges in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

 

The new bill adds a provision that limits the power of the Chief Justice to take Suo Moto notice of any matter without the approval of a full bench of the Supreme Court.

 

Suo Moto powers allow the Chief Justice to take notice of any matter that he considers to be of public importance or related to the enforcement of fundamental rights, without the need for a formal petition to be filed.

 

The bill was passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan on March 28, 2023, and by the Senate on March 28, 2023. It was not subsequently signed into law by the President of Pakistan till now.

Impact on the Judiciary (Pakistan Parliament)

Supreme Court

The Pakistan Parliament bill has sparked a lot of controversy, with many people expressing their concern over the impact it will have on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law in Pakistan. 

 

Critics argue that the bill curtails the powers of the Chief Justice and limits the ability of the judiciary to hold the government accountable.

 

Supporters of the bill, on the other hand, argue that the Suo Moto powers of the Chief Justice have been misused in the past and that the new provision will ensure that the powers are used judiciously and in accordance with the law.

 

They also argue that the full bench requirement will promote transparency and prevent arbitrary exercise of powers by the Chief Justice.

Reactions of Various Stakeholders (Pakistan Parliament)

Peoples Group

The Pakistan Parliament bill has received mixed reactions from various stakeholders, including legal experts, politicians, and civil society activists.

 

The Pakistan Bar Council, which is the representative body of lawyers in Pakistan, has strongly opposed the bill and called for its repeal. 

 

They argue that the bill is an attack on the independence of the judiciary and will undermine the rule of law in the country.

 

The Pakistan People’s Party, which is the largest opposition party in Pakistan, has also opposed the bill and called for a review of the legislation. 

 

They argue that the bill is an attempt by the government to curtail the powers of the judiciary and suppress dissent.

 

The ruling party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, has defended the bill and argued that it will ensure that the Suo Moto powers of the Chief Justice are used judiciously and in accordance with the law.

Conclusion

Conclusion

The passing of the Pakistan Parliament bill to curtail the Suo Moto powers of the Chief Justice has sparked a lot of controversy and debate in Pakistan. 

 

While supporters argue that the new provision will promote transparency and prevent arbitrary exercise of powers, critics argue that it curtails the powers of the Chief Justice and limits the ability of the judiciary to hold the government accountable. 

 

The true impact of the bill will only become clear over time, but it is clear that it has raised important questions about the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law in Pakistan.

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