Pakistan undergoing a period of transition: CJ

Bandial calls for patience and courage during hearing of review law petitions


Our Correspondent June 14, 2023
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial. PHOTO: FILE

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ISLAMABAD:

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial observed on Wednesday that the country was going through a period of transition, adding that "we must display patience, fortitude and courage. Let us learn to deal with this situation."

The CJP's remarks came as a three-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC) led by him and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar resumed hearing petitions against the recently introduced SC (Review of Judgments and Orders) Bill, 2023.

As the top court resumed proceedings, Advocate Rahi, one of the lawyers challenging the law, requested the court for permission to read out an application he wished to file with the court concerning his "abduction".

"On my return from the SC, I was kidnapped on June 6 and pressured to withdraw the petition [against the SC review law]. I seek the court's permission to read a petition in this regard," he said.

However, the lawyer was prevented by the CJP from proceeding further. "Do not read it now, we can read it later ourselves," the top judge said.

Rahi protested saying he was "pressurised to leave Islamabad" and said he "wanted to bring some facts to light."

Read SC reserves ruling on plea about SJC proceedings

"Sir, this is your personal matter," remarked CJP Bandial, "I will accept the application. You may come to my chamber and tell me more."

Meanwhile, the chief justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked on Wednesday the court would welcome a constitutional amendment to grant right to appeal on the decisions under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, which pertained to the country suo motu authority.

Heading a three-member bench to hear the pleas against the Supreme Court (Review of Judgements of Orders) Act, the chief justice observed that constitutional authority could only be changed by a constitutional amendment.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) lawyer, Barrister Ali Zafar, argued that the legislation was enacted to curtail the powers of the court under Article 184 (3).

The chief justice remarked that constitutional amendment should be made to give the right to appeal.

“If a constitutional amendment is made, we will welcome it,” Chief Justice Bandial said, adding that a constitutional authority could only be changed through a constitutional amendment. The court adjourned the hearing of the case till Thursday (today).

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