PBC urges SC to regulate suo motu powers

Published: April 21, 2018
Mian Saqib Nisar: PHOTO:EXPRESS

Mian Saqib Nisar: PHOTO:EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), in their 223rd meeting, passed a unanimous resolution urging the Supreme Court (SC) to structure the parameters of the power of suo motu.

In a press release, the PBC write, “The PBC urges that the Supreme Court should suitably amend the Supreme Court Rules, 1980 to regulate structure parameters of exercise of such powers and a Special Bench of the Court should be constituted for the hearing of suo motu cases.”

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The PBC unanimously are of the view that the top court should sparingly exercise its powers under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, added the press release

The specific Article is titled, “Original jurisdiction of Supreme Court,” and contains three clauses.

i. The Supreme Court shall, to the exclusion of every other Court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute between any two or more Governments.

ii. In the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on it by clause (1), the Supreme Court shall pronounce declaratory judgments only.

iii. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 199, the Supreme Court shall, if it considers that a question of public importance with reference to the enforcement of any of the Fundamental Rights conferred by Chapter I of Part II is involved, have the power to make an order of the nature mentioned in the said Article.

Section 3 of Article 184 allows the apex court jurisdiction to intervene in matters which are of public importance and to enforce fundamental rights conferred to citizens. All suo motu notices taken by the top judge are based on this specific clause.

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The notification further reads that the suo motu should only pertain to enforcement of fundamental rights to maintain the principle of trichotomy of powers. “The Council reiterate that state institution and organs should remain within their Constitutional domain in discharging their functions,” the notice read.

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