A full court bench headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa will hear today (Monday) the review petitions [clubbed together] against the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023 – a legislation introduced by the former coalition government.
In this way, the new chief justice will hear one of the most important cases currently pending with the Supreme Court on his very first working day.
A larger court bench headed by the former CJP Umar Ata Bandial suspended the enforcement of the Supreme Court (Practice & Procedure) Act, 2023, on April 13.
The Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023, has curbed the chief justice’s powers to take suo motu individually and vested the same to a three-member committee comprising the CJ and the following two most senior judges.
Moreover, the legislation also says that the three-member committee would also be responsible for constituting benches to handle cases, with the majority vote being the mode of deciding cases where there is a disagreement.
Last month, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah suggested that the chief justice should halt proceedings of cases under Article 184 of the Constitution until a final decision on the fate of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023.
His remarks were part of the two-page note he issued during the hearing of a petition filed by the PTI chairman challenging the amendments in the NAB laws.
However, the three-member bench headed by the then-chief moved ahead and later struck down the changes introduced by the coalition government by accepting the petition.
But Justice Shah wrote a scathing dissenting note advocating the parliament’s supremacy and its powers to make or unmake laws.