ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court has said that Suo Motu is the sole prerogative of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan fixed the parameters of Suo Motu notice.
In a decision, the apex court said that Suo Motu notice can be taken only with the approval of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court headed by Acting Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial heard the case.
Order of the Supreme Court:
The Supreme Court has said in its judgment that:
- Suo Motu can only be taken with the approval of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
- The Suo Motu case will be heard by the same bench which is pending.
- Any future bench will send the file to the Chief Justice for exercising the power of Suo Motu.
The Supreme Court also disposed of the journalists’ petition filed before Justice Qazi Faiz Issa.
During the hearing, Amjad Bhatti, president of the Press Association Supreme Court, told the court that the five-member bench had raised legal questions, adding that journalists could not assist on legal grounds.
Journalist Amir Mir’s lawyer Jahangir Jadoon objected to the bench.
Remarks of Justice Qazi Amin:
Justice Qazi Amin said:
- Objection to the bench is not a crime but give arguments on this point.
- The names of the parties are not included in the request of the journalists.
- One journalist signed on the 14th and the other on the 20th.
Justice Muneeb Akhtar asked that if the office of the Supreme Court was open then why did you not file the petition there?
Jahangir Jadoon said, “I admit that the journalists did not file the petition as per the rules. If the notice was given to the institutions, they could have objected to the petition.”
Vice-Chairman Pakistan Bar Council Khushdil Khan took a stand before the court that no petitioner was allowed to file suit in the bench of his choice.
Khushdil Khan said that people expect justice from the judiciary.
He said justice should not be hampered by technicalities.
He said a nine-member bench had ruled that the court was not bound by the procedure.
Latif Khan Afridi on Prerogative of Chief Justice:
Advocate Latif Khan Afridi, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, told the court:
- Military rulers ruled for a long time after the formation of Pakistan.
- Every institution was destroyed during the dictatorship.
- It was not known under what authority the order of the two-member bench of the Supreme Court was suspended.
- It was better to send the matter to the Chief Justice and keep it in the full court.
- The chief justice may also include judges from a two-member bench.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial Remarks:
The Acting Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked:
- The court has to proceed under the law and regulations.
- Journalists are the voice of society, there are no two opinions on the abuse of journalists.
- The request of the journalists was upheld and action would be taken on it.
- Every bench of the Supreme Court can take Suo Motu notice.
- But it is the job of the Chief Justice to form a bench and fix a date for the hearing of Suo Motu notices.
- The rules of the Supreme Court are made under the Constitution, the order of August 20 is the order of the Supreme Court.
- The present bench did not interfere in the order of the two-member bench of the Supreme Court.
Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that protection of the constitution and implementation of fundamental rights is the responsibility of the judiciary.
Justice Ijaz said that if anything happened against the journalists, the Supreme Court would stand like a wall.
He said journalists would never be disappointed with the court.
He said that the Supreme Court is the guardian of the fundamental rights of the Constitution.
The court said that all the judges of the Supreme Court are respected.