The Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023 — which has been the subject of much debate recently in Pakistan — took legal effect on Friday after the Shehbaz Sharif government published it in the official gazette, reported Dawn.
In a statement, the National Assembly spokesman said the secretary of the National Assembly had issued a Gazette notification to Printing Corporation in that regard. “After completing all stages of approval, the National Assembly Secretariat has officially issued the notification. The Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Bill is now enforced as law,” it said.
This comes despite a Supreme Court order halting the law’s implementation, the National Assembly Secretariat formally asked the Printing Corporation of Pakistan (PCP) to publish it in the official gazette.
The country’s top judge had the power to initiate suo moto action, which means taking action on their own initiative, in cases of public interest or when there is a violation of fundamental rights but the Sharif-led government passed the Bill, which now became law, after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his cabinet members alleged that it was creating political instability.
After President Arif Alvi for a second time refused to assent to the bill passed by lawmakers in a joint sitting of the parliament on April 10, the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023 has now become an act under Article 75(2) of the Constitution. This was announced officially by the National Assembly Secretariat through its official Twitter handle, reported Dawn.
The contentious law restricts senior-most judges of the top court to intervene in parliamentary affairs as it stemmed from suo moto action on elections delay case. Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023 further specifies that a committee consisting of the CJP and the two senior-most judges will form a bench to hear and settle every case, matter, or appeal brought before the top court.
The bill was passed by both the National Assembly and the Senate last month amid a standoff between the government and the judiciary over elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, after which it was sent to the president for assent.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)