PM Shehbaz tests positive for Covid-19 After President Arif Alvi refused to give assent to a controversial bill limiting the powers of the country’s top judge, the government moved to parliament in a desperate attempt to pass the Supreme Court Bill. The Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023, was returned unsigned by President Arif Alvi over the weekend, prompting a joint sitting of parliament to be held today, Monday. The Bill intends to delegate the authority to take suo motu notice to a three-member committee comprised of senior judges, including the Chief Justice. It also states that any matter invoking the exercise of original jurisdiction under clause (3) of Article 184 of the Constitution shall be first placed before the committee for examination, and if the committee is of the opinion that a question of public importance pertaining to the enforcement of any of the fundamental rights is involved, it shall constitute a bench consisting of not less than three judges of the apex court, which may also include the members of the committee for the purpose of resolving the issue. The changes to the country’s top court’s rules have sparked a new debate, with members of the former ruling party calling it an attack on the judiciary. President Dr Arif Alvi of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) used his powers under Article 75(1) of the Constitution to return the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023. According to a Presidency handout, Dr. Alvi returned the bill to the parliament for reconsideration, claiming that the bill goes beyond the competence of the parliament and can be criticized as colorable legislation. Dr Alvi maintained that Constitution was founded on the concept of trichotomy of power. The Supreme Court of Pakistan is an independent institution as visualized by the founding fathers. “With such an objective in view, Article 191 was incorporated and the Supreme Court was kept out of the law-making authority of the Parliament”. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chastised Alvi for opposing the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023, and accused him of being a supporter of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). President Alvi’s actions denigrate the office, and he follows the orders of PTI Chairman Imran Khan rather than carrying out his constitutional duties, according to Sharif.