Reference Filed In SJC Against CJP, Seven SC judges

Reference Filed In SJC Against CJP, Seven SC judges
A reference has been filed in the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against eight judges, including Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, for alleged violations of Article 209 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Advocate Mian Dawood submitted the reference against the eight Supreme Court (SC) judges, including CJP Bandial, Justices Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, Munib Akhtar, Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Ayesha Malik, Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Shahid Waheed.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court's eight-member bench, comprising the above-mentioned judges, suspended a parliamentary bill seeking to clip the suo motu powers of the chief justice until a final verdict is issued in this regard.

The SC's eight-member bench took up the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023.

"Prima facie the contentions raised disclose that there is a substantial, immediate, and direct interference with the independence of the judiciary in the form of multiple intrusions, in the guise of regulating the practice and procedure of this Court and conferring upon it a jurisdiction that appears not to be permissible under any constitutional provision," the order read.

The apex court added, "Such intermeddling in the functioning of the Court, even on the most tentative assessment, will commence as soon as the Bill becomes the Act. As a result, we believe an interim measure in the form of an anticipatory injunction should be implemented."

The making of such an injunction, to prevent imminently apprehended irreparable danger, is an appropriate remedy, recognized in our jurisprudence and other jurisdictions that follow the same legal principles and laws, and the order is maintained.

The moment that the Bill receives the assent of the President, or, (as the case may be) it is deemed that such assent has been given, then from that very moment onwards and till further orders, the Act that comes into being shall not have, take, or be given any effect, nor be acted upon in any manner.

During the hearing, the top judge remarked that the court has the utmost respect for the parliament and issued notices to President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and others and adjourned the hearing till next week.

The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) boycotted court proceedings, and the ruling coalition rejected the bench and termed it ‘controversial’.

None of the judges who questioned the CJP’s authority have been included on the bench.

On Monday, Advocate Sardar Salman Ahmad Dogar filed a reference at the SJC seeking the removal of four SC judges, including CJP Umar Ata Bandial.

In addition to the CJP, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Mazhar Ali Naqvi have been named in the complaint.

On February 23, the complainant, Advocate Mian Dawood, filed a reference against Supreme Court Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi in the SJC, accusing him of "misconduct" and "amassing illegitimate assets."