ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday barred the implementation of the controversial judicial reforms bill till further orders, besides issuing notices to the federal government, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan and others in the case.
An eight-judge larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha Malik, Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Shahid Waheed heard the petitions against the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023.
Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan and the petitioner's lawyers Advocate Azhar Siddique and Advocate Imtiaz Rashid Siddiqui appeared before the larger bench.
“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,” reads the order. The case has been adjourned till May 2.
Earlier in the day, Imtiaz Siddiqui termed the case of great importance due to ongoing standoff between the government and judiciary. He lamented that the political division had deepened in the country since the coalition partners came into power last April.
He submitted that the federal government and ECP were reluctant to hold elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa despite an order from the court. He said the judge of the apex court were also criticised for their ruling.
Talking about the controversial bill, he called it an attempt of interference in the judiciary. He recalled that the bill was sent to the president but he returned it with objections, adding that the same was later approved by the joint parliament without reviewing it.
He maintained that Article 191 of the Constitution empowers the Supreme Court to make its own rules. He argued that the bill deprives the CJP of taking suo motu notice instead giving the powers to a three-member committee. He said the top court could not exist without its chief justice.
He pleaded the court to reject the bill as null and void.
As the case was adjourned, CJP Bandial said that a written order to today proceedings would be issued shortly. He also called it an important matter as it involves the independence of the judiciary.
Earlier in the day, ruling alliance parties rejected the eight-member bench of the Supreme Court hearing the Supreme Court Procedure and Practice Bill 2023.
In the joint statement, the coalition government turned down the bench, saying such a move had never been seen before in the history of Pakistan. PDM leaders also pledged to stand against any such attempt to take away parliament's authority and to interfere in its constitutional scope.
Pakistani rupee advanced its winning momentum against US dollar, and other currencies in the open market amid strong economic cues.
On Saturday, the US dollar was being quoted at 285.15 for buying and 287.95 for selling.
Euro moves down to 309.9 for buying and 310.5 for selling. British Pound rate stands at 359.4 for buying, and 360.05 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED also moved down to 77.45 whereas the Saudi Riyal drops to 75.82.
|UK Pound Sterling||GBP||359.4||360.05|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HKD||36.38||36.48|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZD||173.44||175.44|
The price of gold fell by thousands of rupees as precious metal lost shine despite an upward trend in the international market.
On Saturday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs217,300 and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs186,300.
Meanwhile, single tola of 22 Karat gold costs Rs199,190, 21 karat rate costs Rs190,138 and 18k gold rate is Rs162,975.
Globally, gold prices hover at around $2072, gaining $32 on Saturday.
|Lahore||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Karachi||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Islamabad||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Peshawar||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Quetta||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Sialkot||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Attock||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Gujranwala||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Jehlum||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Multan||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Gujrat||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Nawabshah||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Chakwal||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Hyderabad||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Nowshehra||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Sargodha||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Faisalabad||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|
|Mirpur||PKR 217,300||PKR 2,705|