Political parties want to ‘pick and choose’ benches for desired decisions: CJP


Court rejects PBC’s request for excluding Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi from bench; hearing adjourned till May 8.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial remarked on Tuesday that the political parties wanted to “pick and choose” the bench for “desired judgments”.

The CJP passed the remarks as the Supreme Court resumed hearing on the petitions challenging the law clipping his office’s powers.

An eight-member larger bench of the apex court headed by CJP Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha A Malik, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Shahid Waheed heard the case.

At the outset of the hearing, CJP Bandial remarked that the bench will hear everyone after Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan shared that some parties in the case would like to address the bench via video link.

The top judge observed that important points, including the independence of judiciary, have been pointed out in the case and is “one of a kind”. “Our stay order of the last hearing is in place. Law related to the Supreme Court rules are very clear,” said CJP Bandial. CJP Bandial further stated that the judiciary has “reservations” over the law.

“Democracy is an important part of the Constitution and so is an independent judiciary and the federation,” the chief justice said and wondered whether the component of the judiciary can be changed. The chief justice stressed that independence of the judiciary is a “fundamental right”.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawyer Khawaja Tariq Rahim said that the judicial reform bill has become part of the law.