ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has directed the Attorney General to furnish, by Tuesday, the National Assembly proceedings record pertaining to legislation designed to curtail the Chief Justice’s authority.
Instituted last month, the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 aims to preclude the Chief Justice from individually taking suo motu notices concerning fundamental rights issues and forming benches for assorted cases.
This instruction was issued by an eight-judge larger bench, led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, during a hearing of multiple petitions filed to contest the law.
At the prior hearing, Justice Bandial denied Mansoor Usman Awan’s appeal to revoke the stay order imposed on the law’s enforcement.
The court had also mandated the submission of the parliamentary proceedings record during the last hearing, which remained absent on Monday.
In the proceedings, the Supreme Court questioned Mansoor Usman Awan, the Attorney General, about the government’s appeal to establish a full court to adjudicate the case.
Regarding the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC)’s request for a full court, the Chief Justice had previously set it aside for deliberation at the next hearing. Nevertheless, the government subsequently petitioned the court to create a full court to address critical inquiries related to judicial autonomy and Parliament’s capacity to regulate court procedures.
Prior to Monday’s hearing, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) filed a plea requesting the formation of a full court to hear the case.