PBC Warns Of Country-Wide Protest Over Suspension Of SC Bill

PBC Warns Of Country-Wide Protest Over Suspension Of SC Bill
All bar councils in the country, including the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), have threatened to initiate a protest across the country if the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) does not lift the suspension on the proposed Supreme Court Practise and Procedure Act 2023.

The Supreme Court and High Court Bar Associations, as well as representatives from all of the bar councils, made an appeal to the top court to exercise restraint rather than join an escalating political crisis and give political forces some time to settle the pressing issues.

The move was decided in the meeting held in the Supreme Court building's PBC office.

The declaration was made following the conference, in which 49 representatives from various bar councils and associations took part, either in person or by video link, according to PBC vice chairman Haroonur Rashid, executive committee chairman Hassan Raza Pasha, and former SCBA president Mohammad Ahsan Bhoon.

The conference called for an all-Pakistan convention to be held on April 29 and was to be hosted by the Balochistan Bar Council. It also declared that Tuesday, April 18, would be celebrated as a "black day" in protest of the suspension of the Supreme Court Practise and Procedure Act, 2023.

In a resolution passed by the conference, it was questioned why a petition under Article 184(3) was submitted before the proposed law had even taken effect and why interim orders suspending the proposed law were issued by a bench made up of "choice" judges without the participation of the Supreme Court's most senior judges.

The conference emphasized that six of the judges on the bench were those whose appointments were frequently questioned by members of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) and the legal community because they were chosen without following the seniority principle and without specifying any criteria by changing JCP rules, as has been demanded for many years.

The former government filed a curative review against Justice Qazi Faez Isa, and the resolution applauded its withdrawal. However, it also expressed worry that the CJP had not yet issued a definitive ruling despite the Attorney General of Pakistan appearing to seek the withdrawal of the case.