NA panel approves Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Bill 2023

ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice, which met here on Wednesday with Mehmood Bashir in chair, unanimously passed the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023. 

The meeting started after Federal Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar arrived to attend the meeting. The law minister apologised to the standing committee for arriving late. He said he had some more engagements due to which he arrived late.

The law minister, while briefing the committee, said the Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association on a number of occasions had drawn attention that under 184 (3), right to appeal had not been given. Mr Tarar also mentioned a judgement wherein it was admitted that there should be a right to appeal in the suo motu case ruling. He said many cases were required to be taken up immediately by courts but these were left pending up to six months. 

The law minister said when voices from within the apex court were raised, the government decided to make necessary legislation. He said the government did not want to make any law which could be challenged later. Mr Tarar said it was long-standing demand of the stakeholders and bar councils due to which the legislation was being made now.

The minister said the bar councils had demanded that misuse of 184/3 should be checked. He said no right to appeal against court ruling in a suo motu case was against basic rights. He added that hiring an advocate of one’s choice was also the right of every one.

Mr Tarar said the objective behind presenting the bill about judicial reforms in the National Assembly was to regulate working of the apex court. He said the bill was aimed at making the apex court proceedings transparent.

The standing committee discussed the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Bill 2023. Under the bill, the chief justice of Pakistan’s discretionary power to take suo motu notice had been proposed to be abolished. It had been suggested that a judges’ committee would be entrusted power of taking a suo motu notice.

The appeal against ruling in a suo motu case would be filed within 30 days and the case would be fixed for hearing within 14 days.

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