The National Assembly on Wednesday passed Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023 with amendments as reported by the Standing Committee and proposed by an independent lawmaker which aims at giving the power of taking suo motu notice to a three-member committee comprising senior judges including Chief Justice. Chairman Standing Committee on Law and Justice Ch. Mahmood Bashir Virk presented a report on the bill which was referred to it in the last sitting of the National Assembly a day earlier. The Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar moved the bill which was unanimously passed with amendments. After the presentation of the report, Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar said that this bill is people-friendly and thanked the members of the National Standing Committee on Law and Justice for giving their input on the bill after a detailed discussion in the committee. The minister said it was the demand of the bar associations and councils to introduce the bill and they have supported the bill. “This bill was an old demand of the Bar Council which said that indiscriminate use of 184(3) should be stopped,” he added. He said the bill aims to have transparent proceedings in the apex court and it also includes the right to appeal. He said that all institutions have to follow the laws passed by the Parliament. The minister quoted the Article 191 of the Constitution which says that subject to the constitution and law, the Supreme Court may make rules regulating the practice and procedure of the Court. Tarar said that the bill includes the right to appeal, adding that it was time for the Parliament to legislate on it now. Leader of the opposition leader in the National Assembly Raja Riaz Ahmad appreciated the government’s efforts in bringing the bill and said it will ensure the freedom of the judiciary and rule of law. He was of the view that the bill would ensure speedy justice for common people. Raja Riaz Ahmad said that the bill had the input of the opposition and the government for the sake of providing justice to the poor and ending any discrimination. PTI MNA Ahmed Hussain Dehaar, who is also a member of the National Standing Committee on Justice, congratulated the government for introducing the bill for the welfare of the people. He was of the view that the bill would serve the interest of the poor and said it was the long-standing demand of the lawyers’ community. Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehmany said that legislation like Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 is the sovereign and constitutional right of parliament. She said, “We have for the first time seen such a situation of division and indecisiveness in Pakistan. This division is not good for the benches, courts and the country because rule of law and legislation is the right of the parliament that has been asserted today.” Minister for Defence, Khawaja Muhammad Asif said the Parliament was not usurping the powers of the Supreme Court but rather legislating as per its constitutional right. Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Mufti Abdul Shakoor (MMAP) said that Parliament is the sovereign institution and its members have the right to legislate being the representatives of the people. About Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, he said that it is the right time for legislation that would ensure reforms in judicial affairs. Other MNAs including Moulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali (MMAP), Ahmed Hussain Deharr (PTI), Saleh Muhammad (PTI), Kishwer Zehra (MQMP), Naveed Aamir Jeeva (PPPP), Ms. Javaria Zafar Aheer (PTI), Sardar Riaz Mehmood Khan Mazari (PTI), Noor Alam Khan (PTI), Wajiha Qamar (PTI), Mr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani (PTI) participated in the debate on the bill and completely supported it. Independent lawmaker Mohsin Dawar introduced amendments which were accepted. The sub-clause (1) clause 5 of the bill passed by the Standing Committee suggested that ” An appeal shall lie within thirty days from a final order of a bench of the Supreme Court who exercised jurisdiction under clause (3) of the Article 184 of the Constitution to a larger bench of the Supreme Court and such appeal shall, for hearing, be fixed within a period not exceeding fourteen days.