Says petitioner's counsel could not give a satisfactory answer to a question of fundamental rights asked multiple times n Justice Bandial says apex court not only has to see merit of the case, but also its maintainability n Case to be heard on a daily basis from August 28.
ISLAMABAD - Supreme Court of Pakistan judge Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah Friday proposed that a Full Court be constituted for hearing of petition against the amendments in the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial, and comprising Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah conducted hearing of former prime minister Imran Khan’s petition against the amendments in the NAO, 1999.
During the proceeding, the Chief Justice said that Kh Haris had filed a petition. Makhdoom Ali Khan, the federal counsel, responded that he would like to have the opportunity to respond to the petition both verbally and in writing. He said that nothing new in the application as the court asked the petitioner’s lawyer to identify the provisions in NAB amendments, which are violative of the constitutional provisions, and why the petitioner thinks that those should be struck down.
Makhdoom said that he would not go into this matter whether the judgment in the Punjab elections was by 4-3 or 3-2 but the members of the bench have expressed their divergent views. He said in suo moto 1 (holding of elections in the Punjab) the two members of the bench have expressed their opinion on the maintainability of the petition filed under Article 184(3) of the constitution. The Chief Justice stated that divergent views are good, adding; “We are time constraint.” “I am retiring soon and already Khawaja Haris had made his submission in 26 hearings, while Makhdoom has argued his case in 19 hearings. He said; “It took long to the petitioner’s counsel to respond to our May 26 order.” Justice Mansoor inquired from Makhdoom how would you respond whether this bench hear the instant matter in the light of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 or not? He said; “In the Military Court case I have raised this point in view of the Act 2023. However, a five-judge is hearing the case (Military Court). My reservation is that this matter be heard by Full Court, because if this bench decides the case then it will have implications. The court asked him to come prepared on the next hearing as they require assistance on it. Makhdoom replied; “I will be making submission in the light of Justice Mansoor’s observation.” Justice Bandial said the Practice and Procedure Act, 2023 has not been debated before the court. He said that the court not only has to see the merit of the case, but also its maintainability. The bench gave one week to the federation’s counsel to respond to file the concise statement. Justice Ijaz said that this case is based on its own merits and facts, adding every case has to turn on its own standing. The chief justice said the verdict of the majority of a bench is the judgment of the Supreme Court, adding one member of the bench can have its own different views. He said this is not a lengthy case and you have too much on the jurisdiction issue. Justice Mansoor said in total 47 hearings he had repeatedly been asking the petitioner’s counsel, which of his fundamental rights has been affected. “From the day one I have been asking to identify the provisions in NAB amendments, which are violative of the constitutional provisions, but haven’t got its reply. The entire petition is speculative,” he added. During the hearing, CJP Bandial remarked: “I don’t think we can review the amendments made to the law in 2023. The NAB amendments of 2022 were challenged before the court.”