ISLAMABAD: A three-judge bench of the apex court has asked Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar to form a larger bench to decide whether or not multiple first information reports (FIR) can be registered with regard to a single incident.
While hearing a suo motu case regarding a fake encounter in Lahore in 2008 on Tuesday, the Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, observed that there is a need to end ambiguity regarding the registration of multiples FIRs of the same incident.
It noted that there are a number of verdicts, particularly a larger bench judgment, wherein the registration of a second and third FIR was allowed in 2016. However, members of the larger bench had never adjudicated criminal matters as they were primarily experts on civil laws. Therefore, there is need to correct this law, it noted.
The court referred the matter to the CJP for the constitution of a seven-judge larger bench to consider the matter, adding that a larger bench’s verdict can reverse hundred year jurisprudence on the point pertaining to the registration of FIRs.
The court also issued notices to the attorney general for Pakistan and all advocate generals. It also appointed Barrister Salman Safdar as amicus. Hearing of the case is adjourned for 15 days.
During the hearing, Justice Khosa remarked that there is no backlog of criminal appeals in the SC’s Quetta or Karachi registries, adding that around 250 criminal appeals are pending in the apex court, which would be decided soon. “The court is providing expeditious justice,” he noted.
It was also learnt that a special bench, headed by Justice Khosa, has decided more than 6,000 criminal petitions of convicted persons especially those who were involved in murder cases and were languishing jails for many years.
The SC also issued contempt notice to former senator Faisal Raza Abidi for using derogatory language against the top judge while appearing on a private TV channel. A three-judge bench, headed by the CJP, will take up the matter today (Wednesday).