According to a handout issued on Tuesday, the 17-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will pronounce its judgment in the high-profile case on Thursday.
Notices have also been issued to all petitioners and defendants of the amendment.
The hearing of the case was started on May 24, which has continued with brief intervals for more than four months. The bench had concluded the hearing on September 30 and reserved its judgment.
Around 20 petitions had been filed in the apex court challenging certain parts of the amendment, but chiefly the new procedure laid out for the appointment of top judges under amended Article 175-A of the Constitution.
The first petition was filed by Nadeem Ahmed Advocate through his counsel Akram Sheikh. The second petition was filed by the District Bar Association Rawalpindi through Muhammad Ikram Chaudhry, who is also a candidate in the upcoming Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) elections. The third one was filed by the Wattan Party through its chairman Barrister Zafarullah Khan, the fourth petition was filed by the SCBA through Hamid Khan and the fifth by the Pakistan Muslim League-Zia chief Ejazul Haq and his counsel Ghaffarul Haq.
Later, civil society represented by Salman Raja and J Salik also filed a petition through their counsel Zulfiqar Bhutta and challenged the amendment regarding minority rights enshrined in the Constitution.
During the case hearing, the head of the constitutional reforms committee Senator Raza Rabbani expressed his desire to appear before the bench in defence of the amendment but later he denied this in writing, saying that since the court had not summoned him, he decided not to appear before the court after consulting friends.
The letter written by Raza Rabbani further stated that Advocate Akram Sheikh had argued , “What is the need of judicial review when the court could not scrap any of the amendment?” He said the constitutional committee did not feel the need to consult the chief justice on Article 175-A. He pleaded that Article 175-A should be excluded from the Constitution as it is in conflict with the basic structure of the Constitution.
Sheikh said that in a letter he had requested PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif to refrain from making amendments that were against the basic structure of the Constitution, adding that the court could nullify such provisions which were against the Constitution.
Raza Rabbani was made respondent in three petitions and he was served notices according to the rules and regulations.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2010.
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