Pak Govt To Legislate To Clip Supreme Court’s Powers
The Pakistani government has decided to legislate on the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction on suo motu notices and the powers of the chief justice to constitute benches among others. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that a parliamentary committee will be formed on judicial reforms. The move came after the blow to the Shehbaz Sharif-led ruling coalition, as the Supreme Court struck down Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari’s ruling on the election of Punjab chief minister, paving the way for PTI’s Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi to be chief minister of the country’s political heartland. Meanwhile, Supreme Court Bar Association, High Court Bars of all provinces, Pakistan Bar Council, and members and nominated members of Judicial Commission have also demanded that the powers of Supreme Court be limited. They want Article 175A and Article 209 of the Constitution amended so that the forum for appointment and removal of judges can be one and judges, bar, administration and parliament are all equally represented in it. The lawyers said that Parliament should abolish the chief justice’s blanket authority in forming benches, fixing the date of cases and taking suo motu notices and give these powers to five most senior judges of the top court.