ISLAMABAD, May, 2, 2023- The Supreme Court of Pakistan, while hearing on the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Act 2023, sought the record of the debate in the Parliament and the Standing Committee on judicial reforms.
The Apex court also rejected the request of the Pakistan Bar to form a full court and remove Justice Mazahir Naqvi from the bench.
The Supreme Court has asked the political parties and lawyers’ organizations to respond by May 8 and adjourned the hearing of the case to May 8.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan remarked that there is no legal status of a reference against any judge, unless the reference is scheduled for hearing, it is of no importance. The bench headed by former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has given a decision in this regard, politics has polluted the judicial proceedings, and the order issued by the judges of the Supreme Court is binding on all.
An 8-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial is conducting the hearing.
The bench includes Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Mazahir Naqvi, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha Malik, Justice Azhar Hasan Rizvi and Justice Shahid Waheed.
As soon as the hearing started, petitioner Raja Amir’s lawyer Imtiaz Siddiqui came to the rostrum.
Hasan Raza Pasha appeared in the court on behalf of the Pakistan Bar Council.
The Chief Justice called Attorney General Mansoor Usman Awan to the rostrum.
Attorney General Mansoor Usman Awan told the court that lawyers of some parties will appear on video link, Muslim League-N has appointed Barrister Salahuddin, PPP has appointed Farooq Naik as a lawyer.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that this is not the last hearing, everyone will be heard, our previous hearing order remains intact, other important points including the independence of the judiciary came out in this case, this is a unique case, the Supreme Court. The law is clear about the rules of the Supreme Court.
The Chief Justice said that the lawyers of all parties should submit written arguments, Mr. Attorney General! This is the first unique law in the history of Pakistan, the minutes of the proceedings of the Parliament related to the legislation should be presented, the third pillar of the state i.e. the Judiciary has reservations on this law.
Tariq Rahim said that the Judicial Reforms Bill has become a part of the law.
The Chief Justice said that the previous decree was of an interim nature, democracy is an important part of the constitution, independent judiciary and federation are also important parts of the constitution, it is to be seen whether the judiciary component can be changed? Independence of judiciary is a fundamental right.
The Supreme Court sought the record of the debate in the Parliament and the Standing Committee on judicial reforms.
Demand to remove Justice Mazahar from the bench
The Pakistan Bar Council demanded the removal of Justice Mazahir Ali Naqvi from the bench, while the Chairman Executive Committee of the Pakistan Bar Council requested the inclusion of senior judges in the bench.
Pakistan Bar Council said that more than 6 references have been filed against a judge included in this bench, Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi should be removed from the bench.