Six-member SC bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan closes case after Justice Qazi Faez Isa halts ‘suo motu’ proceedings
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
In yet another key development for the day, a six-member Supreme Court of Pakistan bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan on Tuesday ‘closed’ the case that led Justice Qazi Faez Isa to issue an order to freeze the hearings of all the sub judice suo motu notices — after a five-minute hearing.
The bench was formed earlier on Tuesday to review an order passed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa postponing all proceedings under Article 184 (3).
Justice Isa, while hearing a case pertaining to the grant of additional 20 marks to Hafiz-e-Quran pre-medical candidates for admission into MBBS/BDS courses, had issued an order to halt all suo motu hearings.
The larger bench includes Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ms. Ayesha A Malik and Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi.
On March 30, A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Shahid Waheed, issued a majority order of 2-1 in a suo moto case regarding the grant of 20 marks to Hafiz-e-Quran while seeking admission in MBBS/BDS Degree under Regulation 9(9) of the MBBS and BDS (Admissions, House Job and Internship) Regulations, 2018.
The bench ordered the postponement of cases being heard under Article 184(3) of the Constitution till the amendments made in the Supreme Court Rules 1980 regarding the discretionary powers of the Chief Justice of Pakistan to form benches.
Later, a circular was issued by the SC Registrar Ishrat Ali ‘disregarding’ the order, triggering controversy about whether a judicial order can be overruled by an administrative order.
However, Justice Qazi wrote a letter to the government asking it to remove the registrar for further “damaging the reputation and integrity” of the top court. Subsequently, the federal government withdrew his services.
Meanwhile, Minister for Law and Justice Senator Chaudhry Azam Nazeer Tarar Advocate has termed the development as an endorsement of their stance that a judicial order can’t be set aside through a “circular”.
“We had asked for holding proceedings under 184(3). The Supreme Court should have addressed this confusion on the suo motu issue and the same was proposed by the Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan yesterday.”
The minister said that the top judiciary is divided and it is the responsibility of CJP [Umar Ata Bandia] to remove this perception.
CJP should have taken this matter to the full court meeting and settled this, he added.
Azam Nazeer Tarar said that no one would accept this verdict with so much controversy He advised the CJP to call a full court meeting else this would turn into a full fledge constitutional crisis.