Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa said Tuesday that Islam made it liable for people to consult others before deciding on matters.
The CJP’s remarks came during the second live hearing of the proceedings on the petitions challenging the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023, the law seeking to curtail CJP’s discretionary powers.
CJP Isa was heading a full-court bench — comprising 14 judges of the Supreme Court — and decided that October 9 (Monday) would be last date of hearing and cautioned that proceedings could continue till 12am.
Earlier, the top judge hinted at concluding proceedings today (Tuesday), saying too many cases are pending in the apex court.
The proceedings of the case were broadcast live by state-run PTV.
The full court bench includes CJP Isa, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha A. Malik, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Justice Shahid Waheed and Justice Musarrat Hilali.
At the last hearing, the apex court’s full court had sought replies from all parties by September 25.
During today’s hearing, CJP Isa directed the PTI lawyer, Uzair Bhandari, to read the first page of the Constitution during the course of the proceedings.
At this, the lawyer maintained that the first sentence of the Constitution says that the authority to be exercised by people within the limits prescribed by Allah is “a sacred trust”.
At this, the CJP asked if guidance could be taken from the Holy Quran while deciding this.
“Surah Aal-Imran states that consultation should be held,” he said, adding that the guidance should be taken from the Quran instead of American examples.
CJP Isa then asked what harm could the right to appeal have on anyone.
He said Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did everything after consultation, while the parliament also stated that the chief justice should decide matters through consultation instead of deciding unilaterally.
‘Can’t spend too much time on one case’
Earlier, at the outset of the hearing, CJP Isa said the apex court would try to conclude hearings of the case today (Tuesday).
The CJP said many cases are already pending in the Supreme Court and the court cannot spend too much time on one case.
He also directed the petitioner’s counsel to complete his arguments in 10 minutes.
CJP Isa said the powers of the chief justice are not being curtailed through this legislation rather they are being devolved among the judges.
He said the impact of this law will be particularly on the chief justice and the two senior-most judges.