Tag Archives: #Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan

SC holds judgement on former IHC judge Siddiqui’s appeal of his dismissal

Chief Justice says, “Half the judiciary will go home if a judge is removed for giving a speech.”

ISLAMABAD: In response to an appeal by former Islamabad High Court judge Shaukt Aziz Siddiqui contesting his removal from the position, the Supreme Court postponed its decision on Tuesday.

Proceedings on the plea were held by a five-member bench consisting of Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Irfan Saadat Khan, under the leadership of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa.

Read More: CJP Faez Isa emphasizes citizens’ Right to Information for Accountability

Following the verdict’s reservation, CJP Isa ruled out the order for today’s open court proceedings.

The written ruling asked the parties involved in the case to address issues brought up during the court hearings.

The SC also questioned if the SJC carried out an investigation in the order.

“What would happen if the investigation wasn’t conducted in accordance with the law and the Constitution?” the directive said.

The former judge has already attained the age of superannuation, which is June 30, 2021, as per the court’s ruling mentioning his date of retirement.

Read More: The speech is not the issue; rather, it is the text: In the dismissal case of Shaukat Siddiqui, CJP Isa remarks

The SC posed the following queries in its order:

Should Shaukat Siddiqui’s appeal be granted, what kind of relief would be granted?

Is it possible for the Supreme Court to return the case to the Supreme Judicial Council?

If council action is not necessary, is the judge’s speech itself not in violation of the code of conduct?

The parties were given three weeks by the court to turn in their responses to the aforementioned inquiries.

It said, “The Supreme Court may take further judicial action if necessary.”

Cipher Case: Govt moves SC against IHC nullifying cypher jail trial

The federal government argues that the top court lacks the authority to remove the special court’s designation.

On Friday, the federal government challenged the ruling of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) from November 21 that declared Imran Khan’s jail trial in the Cipher matter illegal.

The government claims in its plea that the IHC should not have declared the special court assigned to hear the cypher trial void before properly evaluating the facts. It argued that the high court lacked the power to do away with the special court designation.

The federal government’s application was presented by attorney Raja Rizwan Abbasi.

Respondents to the petition include Imran Khan, judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain of the special court, the chief commissioner of Islamabad, the DG of the FIA, the IG, and the DC.

The PTI chairman Imran and vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s trial in the detention case pertaining to the cipher was deemed null and void by the IHC on November 22.

Read More: Azam Khan provides additional statement in Cipher Case

The Law and Justice Division’s August 29 notification that the PTI chairman’s trial in the cypher case, which is being held at Attock jail, had “no objection,” according to the ministry. However, the court ruled that the notification lacked legal authority and had no legal bearing because it was not issued by the appropriate government and did not comply with the requirements outlined in Section 352 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as well as Rule 3 in Part-A of Chapter-1 in Volume-III of the Rules and Orders of the Lahore High Court.

The law ministry’s notices on Imran’s jail trial, which were sent out on September 12, September 25, October 3, and October 13, were deemed to be “without lawful authority and no legal effect” by the court in its brief ruling.

It further stated that the notices sent out by the law ministry on November 13 and November 15 in response to cabinet decisions were “of no legal consequence”.

Read More: In the Imran-Bushra nikah case, the IHC stops the trial court from calling witnesses

The brief order stated that a “retrospective effect” could not be applied to the notification from November 15.
The ruling stated, “Therefore, the trial conducted in jail premises in a manner that cannot be termed as an open trial stand vitiated, as well as the proceedings with effect from August 29.”

Imran and his assistant Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s indictments in the case from October 23 therefore became void as well. Subsequently, the IHC mandated that the trial be held in public before the special court.

In yet another of Imran’s petitions concerning the jail trial, the IHC rejected the special court’s proceedings for a second time.

The trial was effectively closed on December 14 when the special court, which was established last year to hear cases under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), 1923, strictly prohibited media outlets from covering the proceedings of the cypher case in print, electronic, or digital forms.

In yet another of Imran’s petitions concerning the jail trial, the IHC rejected the special court’s proceedings for a second time.

The trial was effectively closed on December 14 when the special court, which was established last year to hear cases under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), 1923, strictly prohibited media outlets from covering the proceedings of the cypher case in print, electronic, or digital forms.

PTI withdraws level playing field plea from SC

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) has taken a surprising stance by withdrawing its request to the Supreme Court (SC) for fair and equal conditions in the approaching general elections.

Senior leader and attorney Latif Khosa of the party has stated that the party now intends to take its argument straight to the people.

In an appeal to the highest court, Imran Khan’s party claimed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had disregarded a previous court ruling that required all political parties to operate on an even playing field.

The PTI was pursuing legal action against the ECP for contempt.

Initially submitted by attorney Shoaib Shaheen, the petition included the federal, provincial, and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as respondents.

Latif Khosa, the senior attorney for the PTI, revealed to the media that he has been “told” to drop the Supreme Court (SC) case, nonetheless.

Read More: ECP informs the Senate that elections cannot be postponed in order to address poll delay 

Khosa stressed that the party has chosen to use the court of public opinion to protect democracy and seek justice.

He underlined the hurdles experienced by PTI candidates in filing nomination papers, noting instances of candidates being hauled up under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).

Khosa expressed displeasure with the state of affairs and questioned the validity of the procedure, asking, “What kind of mockery is this?”

The party no longer expects an equal playing field, he said, citing a court ruling on January 13 that affected seat distribution.

The same three-member bench that considered the bat symbol appeal heard the plea on Monday.

Judges Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Musarrat Hilali were on the bench, with Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa in charge.

Read More: Election 2024: More than half of the polling stations in Rawalpindi were deemed “sensitive”

Nevertheless, PTI’s attorney Latif Khosa declared he want to withdraw the petition when the session got underway.

He remarked, “We want to approach the court of the people instead for the sake of defending democracy and the people.” He went on to say that the party had lost the entire field, not just a level playing field.

If he wished to pursue the case, CJP Isa inquired. Khosa said that he had received orders to revoke the petition.

PTI Barrister Gohar Khan filed a similar plea before the Supreme Court of Pakistan, naming the chief election commissioner and the four ECP members as respondents, shortly before Khosha dropped the first one.

The Supreme Court has resolved the issue in response to PTI’s request for withdrawal.

PTI’s action indicates a change in strategy as the party gets ready to interact directly with voters.

SC to stay out of ECP’s territory: CJP

ISLAMABAD: According to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is an entity established by the constitution, and outside intervention is not permitted.

“The Supreme Court will not meddle in matters under the purview of the Pakistani Election Commission. But the court can investigate if ECP does anything that is unconstitutional,” the chief justice continued.

During the hearing of an ECP appeal challenging the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) decision to reinstate the bat as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) election symbol, the CJP made these statements.

The appeal was heard by a three-judge panel of the highest court, which was chaired by Chief Justice Isa and included Justices Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Musarat Hilali.

Hamid Khan represented the PTI during today’s session, and Makhdoom Ali Khan represented the ECP.

The SC website and YouTube channel are providing live coverage of the case’s proceedings.

Judge Isa stated that there was a “very clear line of demarcation” between the statutory and constitutional bodies’ respective functions in response to PTI attorney Hamid Khan’s claims.

He said, “We won’t take over their job [or] how to do it [or] how better to do it if they’re (ECP) doing their job.”

The ECP lawyer took the rostrum at the beginning of the session. When CJP Isa asked Makhdoom whether the PHC’s written order had been issued or not, the latter stated that it had not been.

Read More: Election 2024: Sher Afzal Marwat is unable to obtain PTI ticket

The PHC order that reinstated the PTI’s “bat” symbol was then read aloud by the attorney. The chief justice said, “I have not read the case file either,” to his claim that the ECP had not yet received “any notice” of the PHC order.

When Makhdoom was asked by the chief judge when he would be prepared to submit the case, the lawyer asked the Supreme Court to postpone the hearing until Monday. Makhdoom went on to say that tomorrow would see the distribution of electoral insignia to the political parties.

Makhdoom remembered that the PTI was required by its party constitution to have its intra-party votes in 2022, and that the electoral watchdog had sent a notice to the PTI for failing to do so.

Read More: CJP Isa seeks to revise history in ZA Bhutto’s reference

he PHC’s recent ruling would need to be suspended in this case, the CJP said, adding that the supreme court was prepared to hear the matter on Saturday and Sunday as well. The hearing was postponed until Monday. After that, the ECP attorney requested till tomorrow to finish getting ready for the case.

Holding elections priority over delimitations: SC’s written verdict

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) addressed the appeal contesting the delimitation ruling of the Balochistan High Court (BHC) in a written ruling made public today. The Supreme Court emphasized that elections are a key component of democracy and that judges serve as its guardians, highlighting the importance of elections in resolving disputes arising from constituency disputes.

The Supreme Court urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold elections in the two constituencies that were mentioned in the petition in accordance with the current boundaries.

SC emphasised the integral link between the electoral process and democracy. The apex court also committed to revisiting the constituency dispute case in both constituencies, scheduling hearings post-election, through the Registrar’s Office.

Highlighting the constitutional role of judges in safeguarding democracy and the constitution, the SC emphasised that a government lacking elections cannot be deemed democratic. Timely and transparent elections, according to the court, constitute the essence of constitutional democracy, respecting public opinion.

Read More: Nomination papers to be received by ECP today

The SC cautioned against hearing petitions challenging constituencies, citing potential disruptions to the election schedule and the emergence of a flood of litigation if pleas for demarcations are entertained.

With the election clock ticking, the SC asserted its commitment to prioritising general elections over objections to constituencies in its decision.

Judge Ahsan is informed by CJP that special benches aren’t created for specific cases

Disputes his assertions, pointing out that “we are paid to work six days, not four and a half.”

ISALABAD – Reminding Justice Ijazul Ahsan that there are six days in a workweek, Chief Justice Faez Isa conveyed his dissatisfaction with the accusations the latter made concerning the committee’s operations as established by the Supreme Practice and Procedure Act, 2023.

You claim that the constitution of benches was decided without consulting you. In a three-page response to the chief justice, the chief justice stated, “My door is always open to my colleagues. I am also available on telecom and via cell phone. However, it surprised me that you neither came to talk to me nor reached out to me by intercom or by cell phone to express your concerns.”

The letter also states, “I called you on the intercom as soon as I received your letter, but I did not get an answer.” After that, I asked one of my employees to get in touch with your office, and I found out that you had departed for Lahore early on Friday afternoon and had not yet finished the workday. Instead of four and a half days, we are paid to work six days.

Read More: Dawn of new era’ as Justice Qazi Faez Isa becomes Pakistan’s 29th chief justice

According to Chief Justice Isa, a judge’s primary duty is to attend to judicial business. For this reason, he originally planned for the committee to meet on Friday afternoon, after all of the orders that had been passed during the day had been written down, verified, and signed.

The chief justice did, however, grant Justice Ahsan’s requests, and the committee meetings were moved to Thursdays, “which I now consider may have been a mistake.”

The letter further states that special benches are not created for specific cases or to include or exclude judges, and that the constitution of benches “also demonstrates that every judge is treated equally and with respect.”

“The facts and the record contradict your accusations. However, the Chief Justice stated, “If you have any suggestions for the reconstitution of benches, please share them with me.” He also mentioned that he would call a committee meeting, which Justice Ahsan could join in person at the Supreme Court in Islamabad, while Justice Sardar Tariq Masood could participate virtually from Lahore.

CJP Isa to develop ‘comprehensive policy’ on pending cases, formation of benches

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa on Wednesday assured the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) that his institution will develop a “comprehensive policy” on the fixation of pending cases and setting up of benches that will outlast his tenure.

The revelation was made by PBC’s Executive Committee Chairman Hassan Raza Pasha in a press conference along with Vice-Chairman Haroon-ur-Rashid.

The two were addressing the media after holding a meeting with CJP Isa and Senior Puisne Judge Justice Sardar Tariq Masood. The apex court judges had summoned SCBA and PBC representatives to discuss the issue of the formation of benches and fixing pending cases for a hearing. The lawyers put forward their suggestions on various suggestions for fixing urgent cases for early hearings and improvements in the provision of justice.

In the news conference after the meeting, Pasha said that CJP Isa has formed a committee of the top court judges, the PBC and the SCBA representatives on the issue. He added that the meeting of the committee will be convened soon.

Read more: CJP Isa appoints Jazeela Aslam as ‘first-ever’ woman Supreme Court registrar

“A new mechanism will soon be implemented for listing of cases. The Supreme Court will form a comprehensive policy that will be implemented even after the chief justice’s retirement,” Pasha said.

CJP Isa, he went on to say, had assured both the lawyers’ bodies that he would share an update on the implementation of their suggestions upon his retirement.

“Many of our suggestions were such that the chief justice expressed his willingness to implement,” Pasha said. He also added that even though the PBC and SCBA gave separate recommendations their suggestions were similar 70% to 89%.

The lawyer assured that the bar councils were “united” for the provision of justice, adding that CJP Isa and Justice Masood were in complete agreement with each other.

The lawyer also clarified that the meeting did not discuss elections and political cases and their recommendations were just restricted to the problems faced in the Supreme Court.

On the other hand, the PBC vice-chairman said that they had submitted their suggestions to the chief justice beforehand and informed him of the problems faced by the people.

He also added that they informed the CJP that urgent cases are also not being listed for a hearing.

“The chief justice listened to our requests and assured us that he will make a decision on them,” the PBC vice-chairman added.

This is the first week of CJP Isa since he took over the post of the country’s top judge on Sunday from his predecessor Justice (retd) Umar Ata Bandial.

Justice Isa is the 29th chief justice of the apex court.

President Dr Arif Alvi administered the oath at a ceremony held at the President’s House in Islamabad. Top government and military officials, including Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, Army Chief General Asim Munir, senators and foreign ambassadors, attended the ceremony.

Justice Isa’s tenure as the country’s chief justice, however, will be quite brief, as he is set to retire from the position on October 25, 2024.

He took oath as the apex court’s judge on September 5, 2014. Despite being the senior puisne judge, he was not assigned any constitutional case for the past three years, following a presidential reference filed against him in 2019.

Hearing of SC Practice and Procedure Act adjourned till Oct 3

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa has adjourned the hearing of the petitions challenging the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023, till October 3.

A full court bench headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa was hearing petitions challenging the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 – a legislation introduced by the former coalition government.

CJP Qazi Faez Isa, during the hearing of the petitions challenging the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023, which was broadcast live for the first time in the country’s history, remarked that he heard AGP’s arguments in the case.

The chief justice added that the AGP has to leave for Vienna regarding the Indus Waters Treaty. The AGP and other lawyers sought time to reply to the questions raised by the bench.

The chief justice said that he will establish a bench after consulting two senior SC judges including Justice Sardar Tariq and Justice Ijazul Ahsan. He directed lawyers and all parties in the case to submit their replies and arguments by September 25.

CJP Qazi Faez Isa remarked that they approved all petitions regarding the full court. He asked his fellow judges to constitute small benches. Later, the chief justice adjourned the hearing till October 3.

Read more:CJP Isa appoints Jazeela Aslam as ‘first-ever’ woman Supreme Court registrar

Full court proceedings

Earlier, the Supreme Court decided that the full court proceedings on a set of pleas challenging the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023 would be broadcast live.

The decision was taken in a full court meeting headed by CJP Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

The full court was constituted by newly-appointed Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and includes Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha A. Malik, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Justice Shahid Waheed and Justice Musarrat Hilali.

Following the decisions the cameras of PTV were installed in the courtroom for the broadcast of the hearing live.

Four cameras have also been installed in the visitors’ gallery and one is installed for the lawyers’ rostrum in front of the judges’ docks.

Hearing

At the outset of the hearing, the Supreme Court accepted all the pleas seeking the formation of the full court to hear the case. CJP Qazi Faez Isa remarked there were three petitions for the constitution of the full court and the best solution to address this important issue.

The federal government in its response submitted to the SC, urged the apex court to dismiss all the pleas challenging SC Practice and Procedure Act. “Pleas against the law passed by Parliament are inadmissible.”

Parliament has the right to legislation under Article 191 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the written reply of the government read and added that no one can bar the Parliament from legislation.

The petitioner’s lawyer, Khawaja Tariq Rahim in his arguments said the Parliament cannot interfere in SC’s matters. To, this the CJP remarked, “Whatever you are saying is not mentioned in the act.”

Khawaja sahab! don’t go in the past, read the act which you have challenged, CJP Isa asked.

Justice Athar Minallah remarked Khawaja sahab are you in favour of giving all the powers to a single personality? Whatever happened in the past, do you want it to continue? he added.

During the hearing, the CJP advised Khawaja Tariq Rahim not to respond to the questions raised by him and his fellow judges abruptly. “I’m trying to make your life easy, note down the queries and respond in detail,” the top judge remarked and added you can give written responses too.

“Do you want to make CJP unaccountable,” CJP Isa asked the petitioner.

Furthermore, the CJP chided counsel Rahim for referring to his “personal opinion” during the arguments and asked him to stick to the law.

“What is this ‘personal opinion’, please talk about the law,” CJP Qazi Faez Isa remarked.

He further asked: “Whose right can be taken away by this law?”

“Rs6.5 billion dollars were lost due to the court’s decision in the Reko Diq case, As chief justice, I do not want such authority,” he remarked.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar raised the question that if there was administrative authority, had the parliament abolished judicial authority?

Justice Musarat Hilali asked if the powers of the CJP had been clipped by this legislation. Justice Mandokhel inquired whether the powers of the chief justice had been withdrawn and the powers of the Supreme Court had been curbed.

Justice Athar Minallah asked Khawaja Rahim if agreed that chief justice was master of the roster.

Read more: CJP Qazi Faez Isa asks judicial staff to serve people seeking justice

CJP welcomed upon arrival at SC

Earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Qazi Faez Isa received a warm welcome from the staff upon his arrival at the Supreme Court.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa took oath as the 29th CJP in a ceremony held at the President’s House on Sunday.

In his interaction with the SC registrar and other judicial staff, CJP Qazi Faez Isa asked them to serve the masses coming to the court for justice.

The law

The legislation limits the powers of the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice and to constitute benches on his own. It gives the power of taking suo motu notice to a three-member committee comprising the chief justice and two senior most judges of the court.

The act also aims to have transparent proceedings in the apex court and includes the right to appeal.

The PDM government had on April 10 passed the bill in the joint session of parliament after President Arif Alvi had returned the bill.

CJP Isa appoints Jazeela Aslam as ‘first-ever’ woman Supreme Court registrar

In a symbolic move, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa — who earlier in the day took oath as the new Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) — appointed Jazeela Aslam as the first-ever woman registrar of the Supreme Court.

As per the official notification, Aslam — a district and sessions court judge from Okara — will serve as the top court’s registrar for three years on deputation. Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court (LHC) has also handed over Aslam’s services to the top court.

Separately, Dr Mushtaq Ahmed — serving as a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Shariah and Law at Shifa Tameer e Milat University — has been appointed as CJP Isa’s secretary, whereas Balochistan’s Abdul Sadiq — serving as a security officer in the Balochistan High Court (BHC) — will serve as the new CJP’s staff officer.

Earlier in the day, Justice Isa took oath as the 29th CJP after his predecessor Umar Ata Bandial hung up his robes on Saturday. President Dr Arif Alvi administered the oath at a ceremony — attended by top government and military officials, including caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, and Army Chief General Asim Munir — held at the President House in Islamabad.

Jazeela Aslam’s appointment as the first-ever woman Supreme Court’s registrar comes to the newly-appointed CJP in his oath-taking ceremony earlier in the day was accompanied by his wife Sarina Isa who stood beside her husband, marking a symbolic gesture in the country’s judicial history.

Throughout the oath-taking proceedings, the CJP’s wife stood next to him, as he vowed to uphold the rule of law, abide by Pakistan’s Constitution, and ensure justice under his watch as the country’s top judge until October 25, 2024.

Read more: ‘Dawn of new era’ as Justice Qazi Faez Isa becomes Pakistan’s 29th chief justice

The move garnered praise from various sections of the society including several politicians and journalists.

President Alvi administered the oath at a ceremony held at the President House in Islamabad. Top government and military officials, including caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, Army Chief General Asim Munir, senators and foreign ambassadors, attended the ceremony.

However, Justice Isa’s tenure as the country’s chief justice will be quite brief, as he is set to retire on October 25, 2024.

With a 45-year-long career in the legal field, Justice Isa possesses a rich background. Prior to his judicial appointment, he contributed articles on various topics, such as the Constitution, law, Islam, and the environment, to Pakistan’s leading English news publications.

‘Dawn of new era’ as Justice Qazi Faez Isa becomes Pakistan’s 29th chief justice

Supreme Court Judge Justice Qazi Faez on Sunday took oath as the 29th chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) after his predecessor Umar Ata Bandial hung up his robes a day earlier.

President Dr Arif Alvi administered the oath at a ceremony held at the President House in Islamabad. Top government and military officials, including caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, Army Chief General Asim Munir, senators and foreign ambassadors, attended the ceremony.

Justice Isa’s tenure as the country’s chief justice, however, will be quite brief, as he is set to retire from the position on October 25, 2024.

He took oath as the apex court’s judge on September 5, 2014. Despite being the senior puisne judge, he was not assigned any constitutional case for the past three years, following a presidential reference filed against him in 2019.

The newly-appointed top judge of the country was born on October 26, 1959, in Quetta. His father, the late Qazi Mohammad Isa, was a prominent leader in the Pakistan Movement and a close associate of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

After completing his initial education in Quetta, Justice Isa pursued O and A levels studies from the Karachi Grammar School. He then moved to London to pursue his higher education in law to complete the bar professional examination at the Inns of Court School of Law.

Read more: Trial court hastened Toshakhana verdict: CJP Bandial

He joined the Balochistan High Court on January 30, 1985, and became an advocate of the Supreme Court in March 1998. After an emergency was declared during the Pervez Musharraf era on November 3, 2007, Justice Isa decided not to appear before judges who took oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO).

At the same time, after the decision of November 3 was annulled by the Supreme Court, the Balochistan High Court judges resigned, while Justice Isa was directly appointed as the judge of the provincial high court on August 5, 2009.

He remained associated with the field of law for 27 years before being appointed as a judge in the Balochistan High Court and the Supreme Court. During this time, his assistance was sought in various important cases by different high courts and the Supreme Court, as well as for handling international arbitrations.

For the past five months, Justice Isa — who took the oath as an SC judge on September 5, 2014 — has engaged in chamber work only. As a form of protest following his disagreement with chief justice on suo motu powers, he has refrained from participating in any cases.

In March this year, Justice Isa and Justice Qazi Ameenuddin issued a ruling, stating that hearing of all cases under Article 184(3) should be suspended until the apex court first makes its rules with regard to the SC’s Practice and Procedure Act.

With a 45-year-long career in the legal field, Justice Isa possesses a rich background. Prior to his judicial appointment, he contributed articles on various topics, such as the Constitution, law, Islam, and the environment, to Pakistan’s leading English news publications.

He also co-authored a book, ‘Mass Media Laws and Regulations in Pakistan’, in 1997. Additionally, Justice Isa authored the report ‘Balochistan: Case and Demand’ published by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) in 2007.

Executive must not interfere with Supreme Court’s matters: CJP

Executive must not interfere with Supreme Court’s matters: CJP. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial on Tuesday warned the executive against interfering with the Supreme Court’s affairs.

Coming down hard on the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Uman Awan, the top judge asked: “How can you say that two judges, including the chief justice, are involved in the matter?”

The CJP’s remarks came during the apex court’s hearing on a set of petitions filed against the constitution of a high-powered judicial commission tasked to inquire into the various audio leaks of members of the judiciary.

The SC bench — which also comprises Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Shahid Waheed — has taken up four separate petitions filed by Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Abid Shahid Zuberi, SCBA Secretary Muqtedir Akhtar Shabbir, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Advocate Riaz Hanif Rahi.

All petitions requested the apex court to declare the commission’s formation illegal.

It is pertinent to note that during the hearing of the petitions on May 28, the same bench suspended the notification that formed the bench and stayed the commission’s working.

Ahead of the hearing today, Zuberi, submitted to the bench a number of orders of different high courts, requesting that these documents be considered for “proper adjudication” of the present case.

These orders included previous rulings from the apex court itself, the Islamabad High Court, and the Lahore High Court.

Read more: Maulvi Abdul Kabir appointed acting PM of Afghanistan by supreme leader

‘Conflict of interest’

At the outset of the hearing, AGP Usman opened his arguments with discussions on the “conflict of interest” of judges hearing the petition.

The CJP, taking issue with the “allegation” said that the apex court is a constitutional office that has its own powers.

“A judge cannot be made a party to a contempt petition,” he said, adding that a chief justice cannot be asked to leave a bench upon allegations.

“The powers of the chief justice or judge cannot be reduced as per requirement,” he said.

When the AGP said that the government had raised objections against the formation of the bench hearing the appeals, the top judge asked: “How can there be a discussion on the assumption that two judges, including the chief justice, had personal benefits in the case?”

He warned the executive to refrain from interfering in the powers of the court.

“We were not even consulted before the commission was formed,” he said.

He then told the AGP to first prove that his petition could be adjudicated and said: “Objections cannot be raised against judges on mere allegations.”

Government’s stance

Justice Akhtar raised questions over the government’s right to publicise the audio leaks.

He directed the AGP to discuss the commission’s Terms of Reference (TORs), and asked: “Is the government asserting that the audios are original?”

He then asked the AGP if it were true that the hacker leaked the audio and the minister made it public by holding a press conference.

“The interior minister held a press conference regarding the audio leaks, was the matter related to him?” he asked wondering if the audios should have been made public without thorough investigation.

“According to the law, can a government official accuse a judge before confirming the facts?” he asked.

When the AGP defended the government saying that ministers’ statements could not be attributed to the government, Justice Akhtar asked: “Are the government’s policy and ministers’ statements not the same?”

He added that if a minister speaks of his own will, it will be a statement of the cabinet.

“After everything that has been said in the ministerial press conferences, what is the status of the application?” he asked.

‘Find Indibell’

The CJP then asked if the government had used its resources to find out where and how the audios are being recorded.

AGP Usman responded that the government has formed a commission for a complete investigation of the audio, including who recorded them and how.

At this, CJP Bandial asked: “Did you find out anything about Indibell?” “Check out Indibell’s Twitter handle, is he operating from outside the country or from within?” he asked.

He then expressed concerns that anyone could spread false news against judges using Indibell.

Justice Akthar then observed that there are negative aspects of social media.

Convenient coincidences

After the AGP, Zuberi’s counsel Shoaib Shaheen presented his arguments and said that the government did not include an investigation into the source of the audio leaks in the TORs.

Furthermore, he said, the audios were assumed to be true and it was presumed that the judiciary’s independence had been compromised.

“All the audios started coming after the suo moto notices [taken by the supreme court] concerning the Punjab elections,” Shaheen pointed out.

Shaheen further alleged that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) is not keeping a check on what is being broadcast.

“[IHC Judge] Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani banned the broadcasting of audio-video leaks,” he said, “however, despite the ban, the leaked audios was broadcast, and the Pemra did not take any notice”.

He said an attempt had been made to discredit the judiciary.

“Parliament passed a resolution, suspending the Supreme Court’s decision and the Constitution,” he said.

‘Last hope’

The petitioner’s lawyer said the top court is the “last hope” for justice.

Drawing the bench’s attention to the PTI political workers who had been arrested and were being tried in courts, he said: “The worst violation of fundamental rights is happening in the country. People are looking towards the Supreme Court.”

If govt bans PTI, Supreme Court will nullify decision within 24 hours: Senator Ali Zafar

If govt bans PTI, Supreme Court will nullify decision within 24 hours: Senator Ali Zafar. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PIT) Senator Barrister Ali Zafar said Wednesday the Supreme Court could revoke the government’s decision of banning his party within a single day.

His statement came after a top minister said the federal government was mulling banning the Imran Khan-led party following the violent May 9 riots, in which military installations were also attacked.

“The PTI has attacked the very basis of the state, that never happened before. It can’t be tolerated”, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said while addressing a presser in Islamabad.

The PTI workers took to the streets after their party chief’s arrest — on the “Black Day” as dubbed by the army — in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case.

The PTI senator, who fights the majority of cases of Khan, told journalists outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad that vandalism is an “individual act” and based on this, “no party can be banned”.

“In the past, attempts were made to ban Jamaat-e-Islami. The Supreme Court, in its earlier rulings, has set a precedent that [the government] cannot ban any political party.”

Explaining further, the PTI senator said there are different laws that deal with a party that resorts to violence and incites hate.

“If PTI is banned, then I believe the Supreme Cort will strike down that decision within a day,” the PTI senator said.

Arrests

Zafar added that “nobody is following” the law in the country as he lamented that despite securing bail, his party’s leaders were rearrested.

“This is lawlessness. We are filing a petition against this and the court will take notice,” he added.

PTI leaders — Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Maleeka Bokhari, Musarrat Jamshed Cheema, and others — have been rearrested minutes after they were released on bail.

Former PTI senior vice president Shireen Mazari was arrested five times within around two weeks. Following her fifth arrest, she announced that she was leaving active politics and quitting politics.

Not only have party leaders been arrested, but thousands of workers have been put behind bars for the May 9 vandalism, with the army and government determined to try military installations’ attackers under the Pakistan Army Act and the Official Secrets Act.

Govt tables bill in NA to amend CJP’s suo motu powers

Govt tables bill in NA to amend CJP’s suo motu powers. In a bid to limit the discretionary powers to take suo motu notice by Pakistan’s top judge, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar Tuesday tabled the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023.

The development came a day after two Supreme Court judges — Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail — raised questions over the powers of the CJP, saying the apex court “cannot be dependent on the solitary decision of one man, the Chief Justice”.

“This court cannot be dependent on the solitary decision of one man, the Chief Justice, but must be regulated through a rule-based system approved by all judges of the court under Article 191 of the Constitution,” Justice Shah and Justice Mandokhail wrote in a 27-page dissenting note for the apex court’s March 1 verdict in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa suo motu.

In his speech on the floor of the house during the NA session, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also sought parliamentary action in this regard, terming the dissenting note “a ray of hope”.

“The voices for change stemming from the judiciary itself is certainly a ray of hope for the country,” the prime minister — whose party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, has accused the judiciary of “bench-fixing” — said.

The law minister, while speaking on the floor of the house, said the apex court’s reputation was damaged due to the actions taken in the name of suo motu notices.

“We have even seen that era when suo motu notices were taken on trivial matters […] also, in the past, several review cases were delayed and not fixed for hearing,” the minister said.

Building on the argument, he noted that the dissenting note of the two judges has led to further concern. Tarar added that decisions taken under suo motu notices could not be appealed earlier.

“It is important to give the chance to appeal an order and the parliament has always demanded that the right to appeal should be given,” the law minister said.

The house has sent the proposed bill to the NA Standing Committee on Law and Justice for further approval — which will meet tomorrow (Wednesday) morning under the chair of Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk.

The committee will send it back to the lower house. After the NA passes the bill, it will be sent to the Senate for approval.

The bill

The bill includes shifting the powers of taking suo motu notice from the chief justice to a three-member committee comprising three senior judges.

Moreover, the bill also includes a clause regarding the right of challenging the decision which could be filed within 30 days and will then be fixed for a hearing in two weeks’ time.

According to the bill — a copy of which was seen by a private news channel — every clause, appeal or matter before the Supreme Court shall be heard and disposed of by a bench constituted by the committee comprising the CJP and two senior judges, in order of seniority.

The bill also mentioned that the decision of the committee shall be by the majority. However, the two SC judges in their detailed notes had juxtaposed majority rule with “dictatorship”.

They said: “Taking all decisions only by majority rule is no less dictatorship, and the absolutist approach to controversial issues is the hallmark of extremists.”

It was also mentioned in the bill that any matter invoking the exercise of original jurisdiction under clause (3) of Article 184 of the Constitution shall be placed before the committee constituted under section 2 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 conferred by Chapter I of Part II of the constitution is involved, it shall constitute a bench comprising not less than three judges of the Supreme Court which may also include the members of the committee, for adjudication of the matter.

Meanwhile, in matters where interpretation of the constitutional provision is involved, the committee shall constitute a bench comprising not less than five judges of the apex court.

The bill also grants the party to appoint counsel of its choice for filing a review application under Article 188 of the Constitution. It should be noted that the counsel, for this purpose, shall mean an advocate of the Supreme Court.

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

 

Judiciary will continue to work transparently under oath: CJP

Judiciary will continue to work transparently under oath: CJP.  Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial on Friday during the hearing of the petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan against the NAB amendments remarked that balance can be only maintained in society with the independence of the judiciary, and judges will continue to work transparently under their oath.

During the hearing, the Additional Attorney General appeared to support the constitutionality of the court while a notice was issued to the government on the request to condition the relief under the NAB amendments.

Read more: Former DG Intelligence Bureau Aftab Sultan appointed NAB chairman

PTI’s lawyer Khawaja Haris argued that the independence of the judiciary and the accountability of public representatives are the basic components of the constitution, adding that the amendments that conflict with the constitution should be declared null and void.

CJP remarked that corruption means misuse of powers and damage to the treasury, and accountability is very important for governance and running the government.

“The independence of the judiciary is necessary to maintain balance in the society while the Article 4 of the Constitution has never been mentioned and Not discussed in detail but it is very important, fundamental rights can be suspended but not Article 4, the judiciary will continue to act transparently under their oath,” CJP added.

CJP remarked that the objectionable amendments should be pointed out today, it will be discussed in the next hearing.

The court adjourned the hearing till next Friday.

JCP rejects CJP Bandial’s nominees for Supreme Court elevation

The Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) Thursday rejected Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial’s nominated judges of higher courts for their appointment to the Supreme Court.

CJP Bandial presided over the judicial commission’s session, where a total of five judges, two from the Sindh High Court and three from the Lahore High Court (LHC), were considered.

The chief justice, Justice Aijazul Ahsan, and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah voted in favour of the nominees, while Justice (retd) Sarmad Jalal Usmani voted in favour of three judges from LHC and voted against the SHC nominees, sources said.

However, according to sources, their votes were less as Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Tariq Masood, Attorney-General Ashtar Ausaf Ali, and Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar voted against all the five nominees.

Upon receiving five votes against the nominees, the chief justice ended the session without reaching a decision, sources added.

Read more: Pervez Elahi is now CM Punjab, rules Supreme Court, removes Hamza Shahbaz

Had they been approved, then in line with Article 175-A of the Constitution of Pakistan, the JCP would have forwarded the list to the parliamentary committees for the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court.

Criticism on JCP

Just two days before the JCP session, senior puisne judge Justice Isa had written a letter to the commission, seeking postponement of today’s meeting, stating that the matter “requires utmost care and due deliberation as it is a matter of extreme delicacy”.

The justice has severely criticised CJP Bandial for scheduling the meeting at such a time when he (Isa) is not able to physically attend the meeting as he is currently on leave abroad.

Addressing the chief justice he said: “CJ please do not ridicule the JCP and your nominees by contravening the Constitution. The JCP deserves to be treated with respect and consideration by its Chairman.”

“Therefore, I request that the JCP meeting should be postponed. Instead, let us first meet to consider how to proceed further in the matter. And, if Chief Justice and senior puisne judges of the high courts are to be bypassed then to first develop for consideration of the JCP criteria for nominees since the then senior most judge failed to accomplish the task assigned to him,” Justice Isa wrote.

Apart from this, bar associations of all the provinces, representatives of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, Pakistan Bar Council, and other bars opposed the elevation of high courts’ junior judges to the apex court.

The demand came during a meeting of the bars on the same day. They sought amendments to Article 175-A and Article 209 for unifying the forum for the appointment and dismissal of judges.

Imran Khan likely to make important announcement tonight

Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan is expected to make an important announcement tonight.

In his latest Tweet, the former PM thanked the nation for coming out spontaneously last evening in support of the Supreme Court decision upholding Constitution & the Law.

Imran Khan also announced that he will address people at 10:00pm tonight giving them our way forward for a sovereign Pakistan.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan declared Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Dost Muhammad Mazari’s ruling in the Punjab Chief Minister election “illegal” and ruled that Pervaiz Elahi will be the new Punjab Chief Minister.

“Deputy Speaker’s ruling is illegal. There is no legal justification for the Deputy Speaker’s ruling,” said the Supreme Court.

The court ordered the Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman to administer the oath to Pervaiz Elahi at 11:30pm. In case the Punjab governor does not administer the oath to Elahi, President Dr Arif Alvi can do so instead, the court ruled. The SC also nullified all appointments made by ‘trustee CM’ Hamza Shahbaz.

Read more: Imran Khan urges supporters to take to streets to celebrate tomorrow

The apex court also directed the Punjab chief secretary to issue Elahi’s CM notification and ordered Hamza Shehbaz to vacate the Chief Minister’s Office immediately.

A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and Justices Ijazul Ahsan and Munib Akhtar announced the decision.

The top court, in its short order, also declared all the appointments made by Hamza “illegal” and told the members of his cabinet to vacate their offices.

All of the advisers and assistants appointed by Hamza were also ordered to be relieved of their duties.

PTI to challenge delimitation done by ECP in SC

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided to challenge the delimitations marked out by the Election Commission of Pakistan, media reported on Thursday.

According to details, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will challenge the measures taken by the Election Commission in the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan.

The former Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that we cannot accept the delimitations unless a census is done.

The PTI member, while taking over his Twitter handle, said also said that the process of delimitation was supposed to be done only in six districts, how can the election commission do it in the whole country? .

Read more: Governor KPK resigns, Imran Ismail announces his resignation

49-member delegation of Command, Staff College Quetta calls on Chief Justice Umar

ISLAMABAD: A 49-member delegation of the Command and Staff College Quetta headed by Lt Colonel, Hashim Iqbal Bajwa and including course participants from military bureaucracy of 20 friendly countries called on the newly-appointed Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial in Islamabad on Friday as part of their study tour.

The chief justice gave the delegation an overview of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan. He briefed them on the judicial system, its functioning, role, dispensation of justice and constitutional jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, high courts and district courts to provide relief to the people.

He also told the delegation about the fundamental rights enunciated in the Constitution. He explained that armed forces in Pakistan play very important role and are held in high esteem as they lay down their lives for the cause of the country.

“The armed forces are called in during floods, earthquakes or other calamities to help the civilian and democratic institutes,” he said.

The delegation presented a shield to Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and the gesture was reciprocated by the CJP who also presented a shield to them.

Read more: Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership was time-tested & timeless: PM Imran Khan

PROFILE: Who is Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial?

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial was sworn in as the country’s highest judge at a ceremony at Aiwan-i-Sadr in Islamabad.

Justice Bandial was born in Lahore on September 17, 1958, and attended elementary and secondary schools in Kohat, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, and Lahore. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Columbia University, then a Law Tripos degree from Cambridge and a barrister-at-law qualification from the famed Lincoln’s Inn in London.

He was admitted as an advocate of the Lahore High Court (LHC) in 1983 and, a few years later, as an advocate of Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

Justice Bandial’s law practise in Lahore was mostly focused on business, banking, tax, and real estate concerns. After 1993, until his ascension, Justice Bandial also handled international commercial issues.

Justice Bandial has also appeared before the Supreme Court and numerous international arbitral tribunals in London and Paris.

On December 4, 2004, Justice Bandial was appointed to the LHC. When Gen Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency on November 3, 2007, he was one of the judges who refused to resume their oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO).

He was reinstated as a judge, however, as a result of a lawyers’ movement for the restoration of the judiciary.

Justice Bandial then served as the LHC’s chief justice for two years before being appointed to the Supreme Court in June 2014.

Throughout his career in the superior judiciary, Justice Bandial has issued a number of significant decisions on public and private law matters. These include rulings on civil and economic issues, constitutional rights, and matters of public interest.

Justice Bandial also taught contract law and torts law at the Punjab University Law College in Lahore until 1987, and he was a member of its graduate studies committee while serving as a judge at the LHC.

Read more: SC directs Sindh govt to empower local bodies over MQM-P petition

SC dismisses Rao Anwar plea to remove his name from ECL

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Wednesday dismissed former Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Malir, Rao Anwar seeking removal of his name from the exit control list (ECL).

The apex court bench, headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, dismissed the plea and asked the lawyer to go to the concerned forum for the removal of his client name from ECL.

The Supreme Court also advised the counsel to file a new petition for relief.

Anwar in his petition stated that his case was pending in trial court and he also got bail from the lower court. He requested the apex court to order the removal of his name from ECL, as he is regularly appearing in the court in each hearing of the case.

Justice Ahsan remarked that the ex-police officer’s name has been put in the ECL till further orders.

Earlier in 2019, the Supreme Court had already dismissed the Rao Anwar plea to remove his name from ECL.

Anwar is prime accused in the murder case of 27-year-old Naqeebullah Mahsud from South Waziristan in a ‘staged police encounter’ in Karachi. He was killed on January 13, 2018.

Last year anti-terrorism court (ATC) had indicted the former SSP and others in the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case.

Read more: TikToker Hareem Shah praises SHC for stopping FIA from arresting her