Bar councils warn of protest if SC’s stay on Supreme Court Bill not overturned

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Representatives of bar councils from all across the nation have shown their support for the Constitution and threatened a nationwide uprising if the Supreme Court does not reverse its stay order against a measure that would limit the chief justice of Pakistan’s (CJP) authority by May 2.

The Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023’s implementation has been put on hold by the top court on April 13. The measure was notified as an act by the federal government on April 21 notwithstanding the top court’s injunction for a delay.

Under the auspices of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and the Balochistan Bar Council (BBC), a lawyers’ conference was conducted at the Balochistan High Court on Saturday.

Vice-chairmen, presidents and representatives of all provincial bar councils, high court bar organisations and district bar associations were present at the convention to voice their displeasure with the CJP’s decision to not convene a bigger bench to hear the polling matter.

Barrister Salahuddin addressed the conference and questioned why the CJP constantly assigns delicate cases to particular judges. He claimed that the present crisis has affected the entire nation and that the judicial problem was more significant than the election-related issue.

The attorney argued that the CJP should create a bigger bench given the existing circumstances. He assumed that there must be a justification for the chief judge’s decision not to create a bigger bench.

The demand comes as the Supreme Court is set to resume the hearing on pleas challenging the constitutionality of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023, on May 2 (Tuesday).