Supreme Court Bar Association challenges NAB amendment – Pakistan


ISLAMABAD: Newly elected President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Mohammad Ahsan Bhoon on Friday questioned the recent amendment to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) as well as the procedure for appointing officials. superior court judges.

The first meeting of the newly elected 24th SCBA Executive Committee, chaired by Mr. Bhoon, unanimously adopted a strongly worded resolution calling for the abolition of Article 175 (A) of the Constitution under which judges of the Superior courts are appointed by the Judicial Commission of Pakistan. (JCP).

The resolution suggested improving the procedure by inserting a new provision after extensive consultation with representatives of the bar to appoint “competent judges”. This will help to expel all kinds of nepotism or discrimination and to eradicate the monopoly of notables. Already the JCP is nicknamed by the members of the bar a “consortium of judges”.

A lawyers ‘convention held at the SCBA complex on September 9 also demanded an amendment to Article 175 (A) of the Constitution to reduce the judges’ monopoly over the JCP and improve the representation of other stakeholders, in particular the bar. on the basis of parity. .

The convention had held that the free and unstructured exercise of discretion by the JCP and the judiciary was a recipe for abuse of power, whether it was the appointment of judges or the constitution of seats, of the resolution of cases or the initiation of suo motu proceedings and it must be duly regulated by rules and guidelines if the public confidence in the Supreme Court is to be maintained.

Friday’s SCBA meeting also flatly rejected a series of NAO amendments and described them as targeted victimization through selective laws only to satisfy the malicious designs of the ruling elite.

The SCBA has decided to challenge the recent amendment to the NAO in the Supreme Court. He proposed forming a committee of the SCBA, inviting leaders of the ruling and opposition parties to make recommendations to improve the accountability law. Ahsan Bhoon said the idea of ​​forming the committee was invented by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry.

He told Dawn he asked the Minister of Information, whom he met with a delegation from the SCBA on Friday, that instead of being specific to a person, the accountability law should focus on consensus without any victimization of opponents. .

But unfortunately, added Mr. Bhoon, the ruling party was at daggers drawn with the opposition despite the latter being an important player in the management of state affairs.

The SCBA also decided to prudently amend Article 184 (3) of the Constitution by granting the right of recourse to injured parties in a new jurisdiction and until a decision on such recourse, the initial judgment would remain suspended.

The exercise of Article 184, paragraph 3, has always been the subject of debate and the frequent use of suo motu powers at the time when Judge Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was Chief Judge had also raised eyebrows. legal fraternity which has repeatedly stressed the need to determine the limits or constraints on the exercise of suo motu jurisdiction in order to protect the credibility of the judiciary.

In 2018, a member of the Pakistan Bar Council wrote to the council a letter stating that the way in which Article 184 (3) of the Constitution had been used over the past decade was ample proof that it was ‘a vital source of empowerment. of the court vis-à-vis other state organs.

The letter was of the opinion that the excessive use of Article 184 (3) in the context of public interest litigation sometimes seals the fate of the injured party, especially when an entirely different issue has arisen. in a collateral proceeding and that an entirely different aspect was raised. in the opinion of the court.

The SCBA meeting also urged the Supreme Court to amend the Rules of the Supreme Court, 1980, to provide the ability to change counsel in review motions.

The association unanimously decided that all state institutions were well respected and worthy, but should work within their defined parameters / domains as enshrined in the Constitution. “However, there is an urgent need to dispel the growing general impression of ‘establishment’ interference in state institutions,” he added. The SCBA also decided to push back autocratic or oppressive conceptions and to support all democratic elements.

The meeting underlined the need to maintain harmonious relations between the judiciary and the bar for the improvement of the institution, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. He called on the Supreme Court to review and improve the case management system for the speedy execution of justice.

The SCBA decided to organize a stakeholder conference inviting intellectual minds from all segments of society to discuss the current national and socio-political situation.

Posted in Dawn, le 6 November 2021

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