Rights activists file plea against 18th Amendment

LAHORE - Civil Society organisations and activists have filed constitutional petition in their individual capacity in the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) on July 8 to become party to the petitions against the recently passed 18th Amendment in the Constitution. The petition has been filed by a senior lawyer Salman Akram Raja on the 18th Amendment with an attempt to place a broad-based civil society perspective before the apex court, which is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court on July 12. This was announced by Executive Director South Asia Partnership Mohammad Tehseen along with the spokesperson of the Labour Party Farooq Tariq and representatives of civil society organisations while addressing a press conference at Lahore Press Club on Saturday. Tehseen said that the petitions challenging various aspects of the Eighteenth Amendment to the 1973 Constitution are all based on the premise that the Supreme Court possesses the jurisdiction to declare void procedural amendments to the Constitution on the grounds of violation of the Basic Structure or the Basic Features of the Constitution. He also said that they firmly believed that for unhindered independence of judiciary a democratic process for appointment of judges in the superior court is essential. The petition was filed by prominent petitioners include Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo, President Workers Party Pakistan Abid Hasan Minto, Shirkat Ghah Womens Resource Centres Khawar Mumtaz, Principal, St Marys Academy, Rawalpindi Cecil Chaudhry, President Pakistan Peace Coalition Dr Abdul Hameed Nayyar, Syed Mukhtar Bacha, Muhammad Osama Siddique, the All Pakistan Trade Unions Federation (APTUF), the Omar Asghar Khan Foundation, the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, the Sungi Development Foundation, the Institute for Social Movements, the South Asia Partnership, the Awami Party and Labour Party.

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