ISLAMABAD:The Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled on Thursday that the chief justice of Pakistan has the sole discretion to invoke suo motu action, recalling its earlier order regarding harassment of media persons.
Today’s verdict was announced by a five-judge larger bench led by Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial.
The bench maintained that, “No other bench can invoke suo motu jurisdiction.”
On August 20, a division bench of the apex court, led by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, had summoned government functionaries on media persons’ grievances.
Earlier today, the top court had reserved its decision on the legal question concerning how the suo motu jurisdiction under Article 184 (3) should be invoked.
The bench heard the arguments from Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Lateef Afridi and Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Khush Dil Khan.
SCBA President Lateef Afridi said that the SC should not act in a divided manner, adding there was a strong perception among people that there was a division in the court.
A day earlier, the superior bars demanded of the apex court to form a full court for determining the question of how the suo motu jurisdiction should be invoked or entertained.
A larger bench of the apex court led by Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar resumed the hearing to determine the legal question of how the suo motu jurisdiction should be invoked.
Notices were also issued to attorney general for Pakistan, SCBA president as well as Pakistan Bar Council vice chairman for legal assistance in this regard.
The larger bench in its first order noted that the order passed by the division bench of the apex court led by Justice Qazi Faez Isa on the application against harassment of media persons, prima facie makes a departure from the norms of the applicable procedural practice.