SC to kick off new judicial year today

CJP Bandial among others to address a ceremony to be held at SC building

Hasnaat Maik September 11, 2023
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial. PHOTO: FILE


The Supreme Court will inaugurate its new judicial year today (Monday) just five days before retirement of incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial.

All available judges of the apex court, senior lawyers, attorney-general for Pakistan (AGP), and leaders of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) will attend a ceremony to be held in the Supreme Court’s Courtroom No 1.

CJP Bandial, AGP Mansoor Awan, the PBC vice chairman and the SCBA president will also address the ceremony. At the start of a judicial year, the CJP reviews the previous year's performance and sets priorities for the next year but the incumbent CJP is retiring this week.

It will be interesting as to what CJP Bandial will say in his speech at the event as the Supreme Court has faced several controversies since September last year.

Firstly, the divisions among judges seem to have deepened in the past one year.

Due to these internal divisions, the authority of the top court is undermined and state institutions have not complied with a number of the SC orders in the recent past. Even some judges questioned the conduct of their fellow judges on several issues.

When CJP Bandial commenced the last judicial year, he was expecting that the pendency of cases would reduce to 45,000 cases. Instead of decreasing, the pendency has now hit the highest level for the first time in the country’s history. Currently 56,544 cases are pending in the apex court.

Read also: Justice Isa invites fellow judges to dinner

No full court meeting was held on any matter during the last year. Senior judges remained divided on filing vacant positions in the apex court. Interestingly, one position of a judge is still vacant at the SC.

Some senior lawyers said CJP Bandial may give a review of the previous year in his speech.

They said it would be better if the new judicial year ceremony was held after September 17, the day when the next CJP, Qazi Faez Isa, will take oath.

Everyone wants to know what priorities will be set by Justice Isa during his tenure. Justice Isa will get a chance to deliver a speech in case a farewell reference is held in the honour of CJP Bandial.

It is learnt that a proposal is sent to CJP Bandial to arrange the farewell reference in his honour on September 15 but he has yet to approve it.

However, another farewell dinner in CJP Bandial's honour is scheduled for September 14.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) is organizing a farewell dinner for the outgoing judge on September 13; SC judges who belong to the province of Sindh are arranging a dinner on September 11 while other judges will arrange a dinner party for Justice Bandial on September 12.


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