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Bill curtailing CJP’s powers challenged in SC, IHC

ISLAMABAD: A Day after a joint session of parliament passed a bill seeking to limit the powers of Pakistan’s chief justice, lawyers filed similar petitions in the Supreme Court and the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday.

The bill, which had previously been passed by both houses but was later returned by President Arif Alvi, was approved by the joint session on Monday with some amendments.

Advocate Muhammad Shafay Mu­nir filed the petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the legislation of the Supreme Court (Practice and Proc­e­dure) Bill 2023 and insisting that the plea was filed to safeguard and secure the Constitution and the independence of the judiciary.

Mr. Munir contended in his petition, filed under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, that the petitioner believed in the supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law, and the independence of the judiciary, and that he had always strived and struggled to protect the Constitution, the independence of the judiciary, and the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

The petition’s respondents included the federal government through the secretaries of law, the Senate, and the National Assembly.

A similar petition filed in the IHC argued that the bill limited the CJP’s jurisdiction by requiring him to consult senior judges when forming benches.

It stated that, while the legal community requested the right to appeal against suo motu proceedings, it could have been granted without limiting the CJP’s powers.

Both petitions asked the court to declare the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 unconstitutional and void from the start.

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