Everything cannot be done coercively: CJP

SC clubs pleas against review of judgment law, Punjab poll order

ISLAMABAD   -   The Supreme Court of Pakistan Wednesday clubbed together the petitions against the recently-en­acted Supreme Court (Review of Judgments and Orders) Act 2023 with the Election Commission of Pakistan’s petition. A three-mem­ber bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Mu­nib Akhtar conducted hearing of the petitions against the newly enacted law and the ECP review petition.

Three constitutional petitions were filed challenging the vires of Supreme Court Review (Judgments and Orders) Act, 2023. The petition­ers contended that the conferment of the appellate power in the re­view tantamount to enlarge the re­view jurisdiction. Such enlargement is not envisaged even in Article 185 of the Constitution, therefore the constitutional amendment is neces­sary with the respect of the Review Act, purportedly has the same effect as Supreme Court (Practice and Pro­cedure) Act, 2023, which is already challenged and was suspended by the SC on April 13.

Ali Zafar while representing the respondents in the review peti­tion of the ECP, told the bench that the review of the Commission is al­ready pending and be decided ex­peditiously as it involves the con­stitutional point and the manner envisages in Article 224(1) read with Article 218(3) of the constitu­tion has to be discharged.

Earlier, Ali Zafar submitted that Su­preme Court (Review of Judgments and Orders) Act, 2023 is contrary to the Constitution. He said it is like the other bill i.e. the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023. Ali Zafar said that this case relates to the enforcement of constitution­al command, and not of arithmetic that three-member, or five-member should hear the case. 

The Chief Justice said duty of the Constitution is not fulfilled and ev­erything cannot be done coercively. Ali Zafar said that at 12:00 a.m. on May 15 Constitution died, 90-day period for holding elections was vi­olated and the Supreme Court judg­ment was not implemented. Time is essence in decision making. He further argued that two provinces are without assemblies and elected governments. 

Though it is pretended that the Constitution is followed, but Arti­cle 5, which talks about obedience to the Constitution and law is oblig­atory, yet all of them have been vio­lated. He added, “My plea would be to decide the ECP review petition.”

The Chief Justice said that the good thing is that the law is limit­ed to the cases heard under Article 184(3), while SC (Practice and Pro­cedure) Act was made in hurry. The CJP asked the attorney to adopt a course to save time. He said the gov­ernment and all the constitution­al institutions are before the Court, and wanted that cases be decided in accordance with the law. He added that now their thinking is not arith­metic. They are showing maturi­ty, otherwise they had protested in front of the Supreme Court to ham­per the process of justice. Later, the bench deferred the hearing of the case till Tuesday.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt