The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday adjourned the hearing of the presidential reference on the Reko Diq agreement till today (Wednesday). A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, and Justice Jamaal Khan Mandokhel heard the presidential reference filed in the case. The president — on the advice of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif — had filed the reference to seeking the top court’s opinion on the Reko Diq settlement agreement. During the course of proceedings, Additional Attorney General Aamir Rehman said that the Minerals Act, 1948 was not included in the list of federal or provincial laws in the 1973 Constitution and some provisions of the Minerals Act went under the jurisdiction of the Federation, and some provinces. Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial inquired whether a law would be under the jurisdiction of both the Federation and the province at the same time. Justice Yahya Afridi asked whether the government could not have amended the Minerals Rules. He questioned why was there a need to amend the Minerals Act, 1948. Justice Muneeb Akhtar said that laws were not implemented like magic. The same law would prevail which was similar at the federal and provincial level, he added. Justice Yahya Afridi said that the court would intervene if fundamental human rights were affected by the amendment to the Minerals Act. Balochistan government’s lawyer Salahuddin Ahmed said that the bench raised a question about the admissibility of the reference. The Reko Diq Agreement was a matter of public interest to which the President was empowered to send a reference, he added. The court held that the questions asked in the reference were vague and the questions were not necessarily framed on a precise point. The Supreme Court of India had declared that the Supreme Court could give an opinion on the points raised in the argument, it added. The chief justice asked whether the Supreme Court would have to give an opinion only on those legal references in the Reko Diq reference. Advocate Salahuddin Ahmed said that it was better that the court should avoid such an opinion that would facilitate all the investors.