Bars seek a way to invoke suo motu jurisdiction


The higher bars have asked the Supreme Court to form a full tribunal to determine the question of how suo motu jurisdiction should be invoked / maintained.

A larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by Pakistan’s Acting Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Judge Ijazul Ahsan, Judge Munib Akhtar, Judge Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed and Judge Muhammad Ali Mazhar resumes hearing today ‘ hui (Wednesday) to settle the legal question of how the suo motu jurisdiction should be invoked.

The opinions were also sent to the Attorney General of Pakistan, the President of the Bar Association of the Supreme Court and the Vice President of the Bar Council of Pakistan for legal assistance in this regard.

The largest bench in its first order noted that the order adopted by the division bench of the Supreme Court headed by Judge Qazi Faez Isa on the demand against harassment of the media, at first glance, deviates from the standards of the applicable procedural practice.

However, the president of the Bar Association of the High Court of Sindh, Salahuddin Ahmed, told The Express Tribune that judges who are passionate about a cause (regardless of its nobility) do not have enough detachment to hear it. objectively.

“Their decisions in such cases will not inspire public confidence. This also applies whether the suo motu is made by a judge or a chief justice and whether the cause is the building of dams or the establishment. public transport systems or the promotion of media freedom. “

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Likewise, the president of the SHCBA states that the absolute power of the CJP to settle or suddenly withdraw a case from a bench, to constitute a larger bench and to compose it with judges of its choice raises serious questions as to fairness of the process.

“While CJs can influence judicial outcomes through their administrative decisions to decide when, where and by whom a case will be heard, there is no real judicial independence.

The SHCBA president says these two issues need to be addressed simultaneously – not only how suo motu are to be taken, but also how the benches are to be formed and cases settled. And if solving these issues is to build public confidence, it should be done by the whole tribunal and not by a smaller, selected bench, he adds.

A seasoned lawyer says that where there is a strong perception in the legal fraternity regarding the division among SC judges, a full tribunal should be formed to hear this crucial issue.

SCBA President Lateef Afridi has called on the SC to form a full-fledged tribunal in this case, as lawyers are concerned about the perceived differences between SC judges.

However, former Additional General Counsel Chaudhry Faisal Hussain said a broader bench must decide the legal question regarding the invocation of suo motu jurisdiction.

He feared that if different benches began to invoke suo motu jurisdiction without referring the case to the CJP, it would set a bad precedent that would lead to judicial chaos and anarchy.

However, Faisal believes that suo motu powers need to be regulated because they have been misused time and time again.

It is learned that the president of the SCBA and the vice-president of the PBC would also appear in front of the biggest bench. Likewise, sources have revealed to The Express Tribune that it is possible that AGP Khalid Jawed Khan is also requesting the formation of a full tribunal in this case.

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