Pakistan Bar Council demands criteria for Supreme Court's suo motu jurisdiction

Pakistan Bar Council officials lamented that suo motu jurisdiction was used in political matters

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Pakistan Bar Council logo. — Facebook
Pakistan Bar Council logo. — Facebook

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), raising serious concerns about the recent polarisation within the Supreme Court, called for a clear criteria for suo motu jurisdiction, along with the formation of a committee responsible for the constitution of benches, in order to maintain harmony within the institution. 

In a statement released on Tuesday, PBC Vice Chairman Haroon-ur-Rashid and Executive Committee Chairman Hassan Raza Pasha emphasized that the PBC, as the apex body representing the legal community, has always stressed the importance of maintaining the impartiality of the judiciary in order to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law in Pakistan.

However, they expressed their disappointment that the recent suo motu was taken on political matters that were already sub judice before two different high courts, which was unnecessary. 

The legal fraternity attempted to eliminate the perception of polarisation and division, but their requests for the formation of criteria for suo motu jurisdiction and a committee for the constitution of benches were not heeded. As a result, the institution of the judiciary is suffering.

The PBC emphasized that it has the utmost respect and honour for the judiciary and believes that the public's trust in the institution should never be shaken. It is a matter of concern that the recent interpretation of the Constitution was heard by a full court, with two judges recusing themselves, in order to prevent an anarchic situation. 

The council has called on all political parties to avoid character assassination of superior judiciary judges and only comment on judgments to protect the Supreme Court's honour and prestige.