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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Important cases in Pakistan’s supreme court to be live streamed on television -CJ Faiz Isa orders

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa-led full court is currently conducting the hearing on the petitions being broadcast live on state television PTV.

For the first time in the country’s judicial history, the Supreme Court’s full court — comprising all 15 judges of the Supreme Court — allowed live telecast of proceedings on a set of petitions challenging the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023 — the contentious law seeking to regulate suo motu powers of the country’s top judge.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qaez Faez Isa-led full court is currently conducting the hearing on the petitions being broadcast live on state television PTV.

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Sources confirmed to Geo News that the decision was made in the full court meeting ahead of the proceedings.

To this end, five cameras were installed in the courtroom number one. Four cameras were installed in the visitors’ gallery and one was installed for the lawyers’ rostrum in front of the judges’ docks.

The full court was constituted by newly-appointed Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and includes Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha A. Malik, Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, Justice Shahid Waheed and Justice Musarrat Hilali.

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Prior to this, a full court meeting was held to consider live broadcasting of today’s proceedings and ponder over guidelines for effective hearing of cases. According to sources, instructions for the live broadcast were issued yesterday — hours after Justice Isa took oath as the CJP.

Upon his arrival, CJP Isa — who reached the apex court in his personal car without protocol — said to the SC staff: “People come to the Supreme Court to solve their problems. Treat visitors like guests.”

He further said that the doors to justice should be kept open.

Case background

On April 13, an eight-member bench of the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the law, which deals with the powers of the top judge in matters of public interest and seeks to limit the suo moto powers of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

During the previous hearing in June, the similarities between the Supreme Court (Review of Judgments and Orders) Act 2023 — which relates to the right of appeal in suo motu cases — and the SC Practice and Procedure Act were discussed with Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan saying that parliament could look into “harmonizing” the two laws.

The then-CJP — while he welcomed the proposal — said that the federal government should take the top court into consideration when making any legislation related to the judiciary.