Government enacts Supreme Court Bill in Joint Session

    The Government has succeeded in getting the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023, enacted in the joint session of parliament despite vehement opposition from the PTI, after President Arif Alvi rejected the bill last week attempting to limit the Chief Justice’s suo motu powers.

    The SC bill was introduced by Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar at the joint session of the parliament, which was presided over by National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.

    According to the terms of Article 75 of the Constitution, the President had sent the bill back to the legislature for reconsideration, claiming that it, in and of itself, was beyond the purview of the legislature and may be criticized as being “colorable legislation.” The bill attempted to limit the Chief Justice of Pakistan’s (CJP) authority over suo motu decisions and bench formation.

    The enacted bill proposes to grant a three-member committee made up of senior judges, including the Chief Justice, the authority to take notice suo motu. Additionally, it incorporates the ability to appeal and tries to make the Supreme Court’s processes public.

    The House accepted an amendment to the SC bill during the session, and the judges committee will now meet to create guidelines for the suo motu subject. Shiza Fatima Khawaja, a legislator for the PML-N, put forth the amendment.