HomeSource ARYPM Shehbaz Sharif chairs cabinet meeting

PM Shehbaz Sharif chairs cabinet meeting

LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday chaired a meeting of the federal cabinet to deal with the “current political and constitutional crises” in the country, ARY News reported.

The meeting was held in Lahore with the prime minister in the chair to devise a strategy to address the matters surrounding the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 and provision of funds for Punjab polls.

Most cabinet members participated in the cabinet meeting through a video link.

Sources said the federal cabinet meeting also approved the decisions taken during the National Security Council (NSC) meeting that took place on Friday.

It is pertinent to note that a day earlier President Arif Alvi returned the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure), Bill 2023 limiting the chief justice’s suo motu powers in an individual capacity.

The president returned the bill for reconsideration to the parliment as per the provisions of the Article 75 of the Constitution days after it was sent to him for approval after it sailed through the National Assembly and Senate amid noisy protests by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) legislators.

Arif Alvi stated that the Bill prima-facie travels beyond the competence of the Parliament and can be assailed as colourable legislation.

The President said that he thought it fit and proper to return the Bill, in accordance with the Constitution, with the request for reconsideration in order to meet the scrutiny about its validity (if assailed in the Court of Law).

In his letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the president said several aspects required due consideration.

Firstly, “Article 191 of the Constitution empowers the Supreme Court ‘to make rules regulating the practice and procedure of the Court’. Under such enabling provisions of the Constitution, the Supreme Court Rules 1980 have been made and in force duly validated – and adopted by the Constitution itself. These time-tested Rules are being followed ever since the year 1980 – any tinkering with the same may tantamount to interference with the internal working of the Court, its autonomy and independence,” he highlighted.

The bill

Under the new legislation, the decision for suo motu notice will be taken by three senior judges of the Supreme Court (SC).

Moreover, the bill also includes a clause regarding the right to appeal against the decision, which could be filed within 30 days and fixed for a hearing in two weeks.

It added that the party will be allowed to change its lawyer in a suo motu case. Under Article 184, the matter will be presented before a judges committee. The committee will review the case and later form a five-member committee for any kind of constitutional interpretation.


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