SC to form larger bench on K-P narcotics law

Will hear federal govt’s objections to provincial piece of legislation

Our Correspondent May 11, 2024


The Supreme Court on Friday referred a federal government's petition challenging a piece of anti-narcotics legislation passed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly to its three-member committee for the formation of a larger bench. A three-member bench led by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah also appointed an amicus curiae to assist the court in this matter.

The federal government filed the petition under Article 184 (1) of the Constitution. Article 184 (1) deals with the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction to resolve a dispute between the federal government and a provincial government.

During the hearing, the court asked whether the dispute regarding provincial legislation could be called a dispute between two governments.

The court also raised a question about the definition of criminal law, adding that this question will also be taken up during the proceedings. This is the first case of its type, it added.

The bench later referred the matter for the formation of a larger bench to a three-member SC committee formed in view of the Supreme Court (Practices and Procedure) Act, 2023.

In the past few years, the K-P Assembly has amended the provincial anti-narcotics law—The K-P Control of Narcotic Substances Act—twice respectively on July 24, 2020, and March 31, 2022.


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