The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday adjourned the historic full court hearing on petitions challenging the SC (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023 till October 3.
Today, for the first time in the country’s judicial history, the apex court allowed live telecast of proceedings on the petitions challenging the contentious law seeking to regulate suo motu powers of the country’s top judge.
Newly-appointed CJP Qaez Faez Isa-led full court conducted the hearing on the petitions being broadcast live on state television PTV.
The apex court declared the petitions seeking full court hearing on the petitions admissible. CJP Isa said that the decision to hold a full court hearing was taken in the full court meeting.
During the hearing, CJP Isa said arguments in the case will begin afresh because the new bench has been formed.
There were three applications to make a full court, which had been approved, CJP Isa observed.
Ahead of the hearing today, the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan submitted the federal government’s response in the matter, requesting the court to reject the petitions against the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Act.
“Petitions against acts of parliament are inadmissible. [Therefore,] the petitions against the Practice and Procedure Act should be dismissed,” the response submitted by the government contended.
The decision to broadcast the hearing was made in the full court meeting ahead of the hearing on the petitions, sources confirmed to Geo News, adding that five cameras are being installed in courtroom number one. Four cameras have also been installed in the visitors’ gallery and one is installed for the lawyers’ rostrum in front of the judges’ docks.
The law under scrutiny deals with the powers of the top judge in matters of public interest and is aimed at clipping the suo motu powers of the apex court’s top judge.
On April 13, an eight-member bench of the Supreme Court led by then-CJP Umar Ata Bandial stopped implementation of the law.
A day earlier, the full court was constituted by the newly-appointed CJP and included Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha A Malik, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Justice Shahid Waheed and Justice Musarrat Hilali.