President Arif Alvi was criticized by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday for returning the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023, unsigned, and was referred to as a worker of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
The Prime Minister remarked in a tweet, “It is regrettable that President Alvi returned the Supreme Court Bill to Parliament after it had been duly enacted.”
The president, according to the prime minister, has devalued his office by acting in accordance with the PTI Chairman’s commands rather than carrying out his constitutional obligations.
President Alvi returning the Supreme Court Bill duly passed by Parliament is most unfortunate. Through his conduct, he has belittled the august Office by acting as a worker of the PTI, one who is beholden to Imran Niazi more than the Constitution & demands of his Office.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) April 8, 2023
The bill aims to limit the Chief Justice’s authority, including the ability to establish benches and rule suo motu. The legislation-passing effort has been roundly denounced by PTI as an “attack on the judiciary.”
Since the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) government was established in April of last year, the President has refused to give the oath of office to a number of federal cabinet members, including PM Shehbaz.
In the midst of a mounting political and constitutional crises in the country over the elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the bill was adopted by both chambers of the parliament last month and forwarded to the President for approval.
After President Alvi declined to sign the measure, the administration is expected to pass this legislation in a joint session of parliament.