The Supreme-Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023, which was approved by the Senate on Thursday, limits the Chief Justice of Pakistan’s discretionary authority to take suo motu notice.
Despite opposition from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the measure passed the Upper House with 60 votes in support and 19 votes against it.
The bill was approved by the National Assembly (NA) a day earlier following impassioned statements in parliament by government representatives attacking former chief justices.
According to the bill, each matter that is brought before the Supreme Court must be heard and decided by a bench that is assembled by a committee made up of the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the two most senior justices, in that order.
In addition, it states that any application arguing urgency or requesting interim relief submitted in a cause appeal or matter must be scheduled for hearing within 14 days of the date of filing.
The situation has changed as a result of two prominent justices, Justices Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, criticizing Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and asserting that the Supreme Court cannot rely on him to make decisions. Both of them spoke out strongly against the CJP, believing that institutions ought to look into this “one-man power show.”