A full-court bench headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa will hear the review petitions [clubbed together] against the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 – a legislation introduced by the former coalition government – tomorrow (Monday).
In this way, the new chief justice will hear one of the most important cases currently pending with the Supreme Court on his very first working day.
Earlier, his predecessor Umar Ata Bandial, who was heading an eight-member bench, had suspended the law.
The Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 has curbed the chief justice’s powers to take suo motu in individual capacity and vested the same to a three-member committee comprising the chief justice and the next two most senior judges.
Moreover, the legislation also says that the three-member committee would also responsible for constituting benches to handle cases with the majority vote being the mode of making a decision in case there is a disagreement.
Last month, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah suggested that the chief justice should halt proceedings of cases instituted under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, until a final decision on the fate of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023.
His remarks were part of the two-page note he issued during the hearing of a petition filed by the PTI chairman challenging the amendments in the NAB laws.
However, the three-member bench headed by the then chief moved ahead and later struck down the changes introduced by the coalition government by accepting the petition.
But Justice Shah wrote a scathing dissenting note in which he advocated the parliament’s supremacy and its powers to make or unmake laws.