Qazi kicks off first day in office with full court meeting

Chief Justice refuses guard of honour

Islamabad_A full court headed by chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa began on Monday hearing petitions challenging Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023,

A 15-judge bench resumed the proceedings which were adjourned indefinitely by an eight-member bench led by now-retired CJP Umar Ata Bandial.

Pakistan Television (PTV) is telecasting the proceedings of the court live.

Earlier in April 2023, the Bandial-led bench had suspended the law, which regulates the discretionary powers of the CJP’s office to take suo motu notice through a committee of three senior-most judges including himself.

Since the enactment of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023, Justice Qazi Isa had avoided being part of any bench to hear cases.

The last PDM government had enacted the SC (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 with an aim of clipping the chief justice’s powers to form benches and fix any case before him.

That same month an eight-judge bench had suspended the law’s implementation after a set of three petitions were filed against it.

The 2023 law serves multiple purposes, including the delegation of suo motu notice-taking authority to a three-member committee composed of senior judges, including the chief justice. The law aims to ensure transparent proceedings within the apex court and safeguard the right to appeal. It outlines the constitution of benches, specifying that a committee consisting of the chief justice and the two senior-most judges will be responsible for constituting benches to handle cases, and decisions will be reached by majority vote.

Regarding cases invoking the apex court’s original jurisdiction under Article 184(3), the legislation stipulates that they must first be presented to the aforementioned committee for consideration.

Moreover, it grants the committee the authority to form a bench comprising at least three judges from the apex court, which may include members of the committee itself, to adjudicate on matters of significant public importance relating to the enforcement of fundamental rights.

Earlier,

On his first day as Chief Justice of Pakistan, Qazi Faez Isa set a new tradition as he refused to receive the guard of honour.

As the new CJP reached the Supreme Court on Monday morning, he was welcomed by the staff.

Speaking to the staff, CJP Isa sought their cooperation for smooth functioning of the court.

After refusing a guard of honor that was to be presented by the Islamabad Police, CJP Isa asked the force to perform their duties diligently and honestly.

Justice Isa who was sworn in as the Chief Justice of Pakistan on Sunday, will preside over a full court that will hear the petitions against the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Act.