Supreme Court Bill will be effective on April 20, says Law Minister

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Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar said on Monday that the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023, which attempts to limit the chief justice’s authority to take suo motu notice in a personal capacity, will take effect on April 20.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had strongly objected to the federal government’s efforts to pass the SC bill in the joint session of parliament on April 10 after President Arif Alvi had vetoed the measure that sought to limit the CJP’s suo motu authority. The President was once more presented with the measure for his approval.

According to the constitution, if the head of state doesn’t approve it after 10 days, it will be taken as given.

On April 13, an eight-member larger SC bench issued an order stating that even if the President assented to the SC bill 2023, no further action would be taken until further notice.

The law minister added in an interview that details of the bill’s implementation will be determined later. The National Assembly has the authority to approve supplemental budgets in accordance with Article 84 of the Constitution, he said.

“If the amount [Rs21 billion] is allocated without the approval of the National Assembly,” he said, “It will be a violation of the Constitution.” According to him, the administration chose to advance the measure in the house in the interest of openness. He insisted that governmental entities shouldn’t encroach on one another’s purviews.

Tarar said that the finance ministry and the parliament have sole authority over the issuance of money; the SBP has no role in this process.

Later that day, the National Assembly accepted the summary about the non-provision of funds to the ECP that had been provided by the Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue.