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NA passes SC Review of Judgments and Orders Bill 2023

ISLAMABAD, The National Assembly on Friday passed the Supreme Court Review of Judgments and Orders Bill 2023 which aims at facilitating and strengthening the Supreme Court in the exercise of its powers to review its judgments and orders.

Article 188 of the Constitution empowers the Supreme Court, subject to the provision of any Act of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and any rules made by the Supreme Court, to review any judgment pronounced or any order made by it.

The bill moved by MNA Shaza Fatima Khawja of PML-N proposes to enlarge the jurisdiction of the supreme court as expressly provided under Article 188 of the Constitution and strengthen the exercise of this power by the apex court.

According to the statement of the objects and reasons of the bill, it is necessary to ensure that fundamental rights to justice by providing for meaningful review of judgments and orders passed by the Supreme Court in exercise of its original jurisdiction under Article 184.

The bill states that in case of judgment and orders of the supreme court in exercise of its original jurisdiction under Article 184  of the Constitution, the scope of review on both facts and law, shall be the same as an appeal under Article 185 of the Constitution. It proposes that a review petition shall be heard by a bench larger than the bench which passed the original judgment in order. It suggests that the review petitioner shall have the right to appoint any advocate of the supreme court of his choice for the review petition.

The bill states that the right to file a review petition shall also be available to an aggrieved person against whom an order has been made under clause (3) of the Article 184 of the Constitution, prior to the recommendation of this legislation. It suggests the petition shall be filed within sixty days of the commencement of this legislative piece.

It asks that a review petition may be filed within sixty days of the passing of the original orders. It states that this legislation shall have effect notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, rules or regulations for the time being in force of the judgment of any court including the supreme court and a high court.

Speaking on the occasion, Law Minister Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar said that legislation is the prerogative of the parliament which has never interfered in the affairs of other institutions. He said this bill will facilitate the litigants and also strengthen the judiciary.

Minister for Power Khurram Dastagir said this piece of legislation does not infringe upon the independence of the judiciary.  He said through this legislation, the House wants to ensure that there is greater transparency in the procedures of the apex court.

Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said we want to strengthen the hands of the judiciary so that the people get speedy justice.  He said parliament is the mother of democracy. He said that the remarks made by the Army Chief during an in-camera briefing on the security situation regarding this house as well as the office of the Prime Minister are propitious. He stressed that the parliament has never trespassed in the territory of other institutions and neither wants intrusion in its institution. Khawaja Asif said that the legislation carried out earlier and now was aimed at strengthening the judiciary to ensure speedy justice to the masses awaiting their hearings in 51,000 pending cases of the Apex Court.

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