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HomeNationalPrivilege to form benches lies with chief justice, says CJ Bandial

Privilege to form benches lies with chief justice, says CJ Bandial

Judges must not be targeted based on rumors, says CJ Bandial

Supreme Court Chief Justice (CJ) Umar Ata Bandial on Friday spoke about the “unnecessary” criticism directed at him, saying that the chief justice had the prerogative to constitute benches.

He made these comments during a full court reference held on Justice Qazi Amin Ahmed’s retirement from the Supreme Court. Justice Bandial asked why objections had been raised as chief justices had been forming benches for the previous two decades.

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He said the chief justice made the decision which case would be heard and which bench would take it up. He went on to say that judges must not be targeted based on rumors as they could not respond to criticism. The chief justice said that one could criticize judgments but not the judges.

The statement comes two days after his colleague, next in line to become the chief justice, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, wrote a three-page letter, questioning the formation of benches without including senior judges.

In his letter, Justice Isa argued that the five-judge bench, which was hearing a presidential reference on Article 63(A) of the constitution, was made up of judges who were fourth, eighth and thirteenth in the seniority list of the court.

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