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Friday, February 3, 2023

Pakistan: NA to carry out judicial reforms

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 Pakistan’s parliament, the National Assembly announced that it is taking steps to check what it sees as transgression and encroachment upon its powers by the judiciary by passing a resolution to constitute a joint special committee of both houses of parliament to carry out the requisite judicial reforms, The News reported on Thursday.

Moving a resolution in this regard, Pakistan’s Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said “This House resolves that to ensure the supremacy of the Parliament and the Constitution in letter and spirit, it hereby constitutes a special committee of both houses of the Parliament to institute requisite judicial reforms, which are need of the hour”.

The resolution says the Parliament, being the representative of the will of people of Pakistan, “shall not allow any other institutions to transgress and encroach on its powers” adding that “The august House believes that the Parliament is the supreme legislative body of the state of Pakistan, whereby the enactment of the laws including amendments to the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 is sole prerogative of the Parliament.”

The National Assembly observed that the Constitution envisages trichotomy of powers among three organs of the state namely the legislature, executive and judiciary; “It is the legislature which has been assigned the task of law making, the executive to execute such laws under the doctrine of separation of powers, the judiciary to interpret the laws, under doctrine of separation of power, none of organs of state can encroach upon the powers of others”.

The House also observed that whereas the Constitution of Pakistan has entrusted the Parliament with certain constitutional mandates, including power to confirm the appointment of judges of superior courts in terms of Article 175 A of the Constitution, the resolution pointed out that there is a long pending agenda of what is left over from the Charter of Democracy, and that the entire journey of democracy from 2008 to 2022 was defined by a search for parliamentary sovereignty, the supremacy of the Constitution and a balance between all pillars of the state.

However, it was made clear by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, meanwhile, that the powers of the Supreme Court were not being cut down in any way.

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