The Supreme Court Thursday ruled that only the chief justice has authority to take suo motu notice, and dismissed the suo motu notice taken by an apex court division bench over petition filed by journalists against alleged harassment. A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel had taken a suo motu notice on August 20, when the Press Association of the Supreme Court president brought to the court’s notice an application over the alleged harassment of journalists. A five-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Acting Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmad and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar heard the case and announced the short order. “No other bench can invoke suo moto jurisdiction. The Chief Justice could invoke or assume the suo moto jurisdiction in his discretion and also do so if requested or recommended by a bench of the court,” the bench maintained. The court further maintained that no bench could take any step or make any order (whether in any pending proceedings or otherwise) as would or could constitute exercise of the suo moto jurisdiction (such as but not limited to the issuance of any notice, making any inquiry or summoning any person or authority or any report) unless and until the chief justice had invoked/assumed the suo moto jurisdiction.