The hearing of petitions against the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Act
Islamabad: (Suno News) The Supreme Court is currently hearing petitions against the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Act 2023.
A full court bench, formed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Qazi Faiz Isa, is currently hearing nine petitions against the “Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Act 2023,” which is being live-streamed.
The 15-member full court bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faiz Isa, includes Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan, Justice Syed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha A. Malik, Justice Atir Mahalla, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Justice Shahid Wahid, and Justice Musarrat Hilali.
The Attorney General informed the court that he would provide evidence based on written replies. Chief Justice responded, “You are saying that you will not repeat everything but will highlight the important points.”
The Attorney General took the stance that he would discuss Article 191 and the independence of the judiciary. Three questions were raised and will be answered. First, evidence will be provided on the issue of the Master of the Rolls. Evidence will also be presented on the rules of 1956. Evidence will be provided regarding the distribution of powers and the powers assumed by the Parliament in the Master of the Rolls. The composition of the full court and the issue of deprivation of the right to appeal will also be addressed. This has already been stated and will not be reiterated.
The Attorney General stated that Article 191 and the rights given therein are conditional on the law. There are several places in the Constitution where the “subject to” term has been used. The right to privacy is also subject to the Constitution. The nature of the law was not specified. The Chief Justice asked the Attorney General if he was saying that Article 19-A, where the same amendment was applied, is different from the rest. The Attorney General responded that the right to information under Article 19-A is derived from legislation. Since the Constitution was enacted, Article 191 has not been amended, and there is no need for it. Article 191 not being amended is to ensure the independence of the judiciary.
Justice Munib Akhtar asked, “Are you saying that Article 191, under the Law of Singe Duplicity, is different from the term used elsewhere?” The Attorney General said that the laws of sedition and the Right to Information Act are derived from the law, which was taken from the constitutional sections. Parliament did not legislate exclusively on the federal legislative list in those laws.
The Attorney General said that the law has regulated the right to privacy. Article 191 gives Parliament the authority to legislate. No constraints are placed on the Constitution. Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan inquired, “Why isn’t it called the subject to the Constitution and the law?” Justice Ata Munir responded that Article 191 specifically mentions “subject to the Constitution.”
The Chief Justice remarked, “Why don’t you say that the constitutional institutions have used the terms ‘Parliament’ and ‘Law’ consciously and in a way that is written in a form that can be used whenever the time comes.” Justice Ajaz ul Ahsan added, “The intent of the framers is not clear on whether the Supreme Court rules can be changed through legislation. The Constitution says nothing about the amendment of Supreme Court rules.”
The Attorney General argued that Article 191 grants the authority to legislate, and there is no binding in it. The Chief Justice questioned whether the term “law” is different in Article 191 compared to other constitutional sections. The Attorney General said that it is the right to make law and not subject to the law. He pointed out that Article 191 provides the power of legislation to Parliament, and the Constitution does not take back the power to legislate.