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CJP-led bench takes up pleas challenging SC bill today amid PBC boycott

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  • Three petitions filed under Article 184(3) to set aside the bill.
  • 8-member bench is headed by CJP Umar Ata Bandial.
  • None of the judges who questioned CJP powers included in bench. 

ISLAMABAD: An eight-member bench of the Supreme Court will take up three petitions challenging the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 amidst a boycott of court proceedings by the country’s top lawyers body in protest “against fixation of pleas in haste”.

A late-night announcement, made by PBC Vice Chairman Haroonur Rashid and Executive Committee Vice Chairman Hassan Raza Pasha, said that the chief justice constituted the bench in haste for hearing the petitions.

They said that the lawyers’ community would boycott the court proceedings across the country on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the bill — clipping CJP powers — was passed by a joint sitting of parliament after President Dr Arif Alvi returned it.

Subsequently, three separate petitions were filed by Raja Amer Khan, Chaudhry Ghulam Hussain and Mohammad Shafay Munir, among others, under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, asking the top court to set aside the bill.

The bench will be headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and comprises Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha Malik, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Shahid Waheed.

None of the judges who raised questions on the powers of the CJP have been included in the bench.

The petitions will be heard at 11:30am, according to the supplementary cause list uploaded on the Supreme Court website.

The bill has also been challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) by lawyer Saeed Aftab in a separate plea.

The federal government got the bill passed in a joint session of parliament on Monday after President Arif Alvi returned it last week without signing it.

The president had returned the bill to parliament for reconsideration, citing Article 75 of the Constitution, and stating that its prima-facie travels beyond the competence of parliament and can be assailed as colourable legislation.

During the chaotic joint sitting, the house approved an amendment to the SC bill, under which a judges’ committee meeting would be convened to devise rules and regulations regarding the suo motu matters. The amendment was proposed by PML-N lawmaker Shaza Fatima Khawaja.

As per the amendment, the chief justice of Pakistan or any other member of the committee can call the meeting until the rules and regulations are finalised.

The bill

The Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023 aims to give the power of taking suo motu notice to a three-member committee comprising senior judges, including the chief justice. It also aims to have transparent proceedings in the apex court and includes the right to appeal.

Regarding the formation of benches, the bill states that every cause, matter or appeal before the apex court would be heard and disposed of by a bench constituted by a committee comprising the CJP and the two senior-most judges. It added that the decisions of the committee would be taken by a majority.

Regarding the apex court’s original jurisdiction, the bill said that any matter invoking the use of Article 184(3) would first be placed before the committee.

The bill says that if the committee is of the view that a question of public importance with reference to the enforcement of any of the fundamental rights conferred by Chapter I of Part II of the Constitution is involved, it shall constitute a bench comprising not less than three judges of the SC which may also include the members of the committee, for adjudication of the matter.

On matters where the interpretation of the Constitution is required, the bill said the committee would compose a bench comprising no less than five apex court judges for the task.

Regarding appeals for any verdict by an apex court bench that exercised jurisdiction under Article 184(3), the bill said that the appeal would have to be filed within 30 days of the bench’s order for a larger SC bench. It added that the appeal would be fixed for hearing within a period not exceeding 14 days.

It added that this right of appeal would also extend retrospectively to those aggrieved persons against whom an order was made under Article 184(3) prior to the commencement of the SC (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023 on the condition that the appeal was filed within 30 days of the act’s commencement.

The bill additionally said that a party would have the right to appoint its counsel of choice for filing a review application under Article 188 of the Constitution.

Furthermore, it states that an application pleading urgency or seeking interim relief, filed in a cause, appeal or matter, shall be fixed for hearing within 14 days from the date of its filing.

The bill said that its provisions would have effect notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, rules, or regulations for the time being in force or judgement of any court, including the Supreme Court and high courts.

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Current weather: Will Karachi see any rain today?

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There is no probability of rain in Karachi, although there may be some light rain in some areas of the city, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) on Monday.

The city will continue to see overcast weather, according to the Met Office, which also noted that the westerly winds had left Sindh.

According to the PMD, Karachi’s current temperature is 28°C, and the air’s humidity is 61%. The wind is blowing quickly out of the west.

“The maximum temperature in Karachi is likely to be 30 to 32°C,” it said. Meanwhile, there’s a chance of light rain in several areas of Sindh.

A day prior, there had been rain and thunderstorms in a number of Karachi neighborhoods, including Mauripur, North Karachi, Gulistane-e-Johar and the neighboring suburbs, Saddar, Soldier Bazar, the Airport, and Clifton.

Surjani Town reported the maximum rainfall of 34 millimeters, while Nazimabad, Gulshan-e-Hadid, Faisal Base, Sharea Faisal, and Keamari received 21.2, 20, and 19 millimeters of rain, respectively.

Subsequently, rainfall totals of 18 mm were reported at Masroor Base, 17 mm at Korangi, 15.7 mm at University Road, 15.1 mm at Old Airport, 15 mm at Saadi Town and North Karachi, 14.4 mm at Orangi Town, 13 mm at Saddar, 12 mm at Malir, 5.5 mm at Defence Housing Society (DHA), and 5 mm at Quaidabad.

The Met Office reported that Jinnah Terminal recorded the lowest amount of rain, 1.2 mm.

It rained in Karachi as predicted, according to Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfaraz.

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Punjab sets a Rs. 16 roti price.

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On Sunday, the Punjabi government lowered the cost of rotis from Rs 20 to Rs 16.

“Thank God, the Punjabi government has lowered the cost of roti to Rs16,” stated a post on the social media site X by Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

According to Maryam Nawaz Sharif, all districts in Punjab and pertinent departments have received instructions to guarantee that this decision is strictly followed.

Previously, on Wednesday, the Punjab cabinet decided to set Rs3,900 per 40kg as the minimum support price for wheat in 2023–2024.

Leading the Punjab government is Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif, who has approved the Wheat Procurement Policy 2024–25.
Punjab sets the price of its heat support at Rs. 3-900 per 40 kg, according tources.

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How Can I Register Online for the Punjab E-Bike Scheme? Examine the Step-by-Step Guide.

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The Punjabi government has begun the process of registering motorcycles for students in the area on a monthly interest-free payment plan.

At least 19,000 gasoline and 1,000 E-bikes will be given away in the first phase. The Punjab government will cover the applicants’ down payment and markup in installments.

Due to the exorbitant cost of two-wheelers, the Interest-Free Bike Scheme 2024 was created to lessen the financial burden on students.

A Rs. 20,000 down payment is part of the proposal. For two years, students will pay for their bikes in convenient monthly installments. Based on the facts provided, male students will have to pay more than Rs. 11,000 per month, while female students will pay Rs. 7,325 per month.

Whereas petrol bikes would be dispersed in other districts according to population, e-bikes will be given out in Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rawalpindi, and Lahore.

Take these actions to register for the Punjab Motorcycle Scheme:

Visit the authorized website, bikes.punjab.gov.pk.
Locate the section for registration.
Fill out the registration form with the necessary personal data.
Upload any necessary files by following the given instructions.
Verify the accuracy of the information.
Send in the registration form.

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