Justice Qazi Faez Isa Postpones Hearing Of Suo Motu Cases

Justice Qazi Faez Isa Postpones Hearing Of Suo Motu Cases
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that hearing of all cases under Article 184(3), which is related to the CJP's suo motu powers, be postponed till amendments in the SC rules.

"The interest of citizens therefore will be best served to postpone the hearing of this case, and of all other cases under article 184(3) of the Constitution, till the matters noted hereinabove are first attended to by making requisite rules in terms of article 191 of the Constitution," the order read.

The ruling came during a suo motu hearing on granting additional marks to a medical student. Besides Justice Faez, the bench comprised Justices Amin-ud-Din Khan and Shahid Waheed. Justice Waheed dissented with the majority opinion.

According to the order, the Supreme Court rules neither permit nor envisage special benches, however, a special bench comprising three judges was constituted to hear this case.

Read this too: Justice Qazi Faez Isa Asks If SC Rules Allow Formation Of Special Benches

The question arises, the verdict maintained, as to why couldn't an existing regular bench hear this case?

It further noted that constituting a special bench provides detractors an opportunity to allege that the bench was tailor-made to give a particular decision.

The judges noted that the Constitution does not grant unilateral and arbitrary powers to the Chief Justice to decide the said matters.

Pemra order

The verdict also noted that the Pemra order required broadcasters to avoid discussing judges conduct.

"If legitimate criticism of judges is prohibited, it neither serves the interest of the judiciary nor that of the public," it added.

It noted that prohibiting the broadcast of any content pertaining to conduct of judges is inexplicable.

'A decision of its own'

Meanwhile, commenting on the verdict, renowned lawyer Abdul Moiz Jaferii said, "This won’t count as anything but a recommendation for the other cases."

"It counts as a decision in their own case. It's not a repeat of the 1997 Sajjad Ali Shah case," he added.

Earlier today, the National Assembly passed a bill that sought to curtail powers of the CJP to take suo motu notices in an individual capacity.

Court's ruling