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Apex court declares review of orders and judgements act unconstitutional

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ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – The apex court on Friday declared the Supreme Court (Review of Judgements and Orders) Act 2023 null and void on petitions filed against the law.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar had reserved its decision on June 19 and announced the decision.

The Supreme Court approved the constitutional petitions against the new law granting the right of appeal against the apex court decisions. The chief justice remarked that the parliament could not enact such legislation. The CJP further noted that the act was against the Constitution. 

It is learnt that the court sent electronic notices to the parties to the case for the announcement of judgement on Friday.

Ghulam Mohiuddin, Zaman Khan Vardak, the Jurists Foundation, through its CEO Riaz Hanif Rahi, and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had challenged the vires of the act.

The apex court held six hearings from June 7 to 19 on petitions challenging the law, enacted in May.

The court had also clubbed the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) review petition against the Punjab election order with this matter since the two were directly linked.

The petitions were clubbed as the same three-member bench — under Article 184(3) — had issued the Punjab polls order and, under the new law, it could not hear the review plea.

Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan had asked the court to dismiss the pleas against the law, explaining that it broadens the court’s jurisdiction and does not curb its powers.

However, PTI lawyer Ali Zafar argued that a change in the Supreme Court’s powers could not be made through legislation alone and required a constitutional amendment.

It may be recalled that a verdict on the petitions will revive the political careers of former premier Nawaz Sharif and Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) chief Jahangir Tareen, who have been disqualified from contesting elections.

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