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SC holds first ever live broadcast of court proceedings

SC adjourns hearing of Practice and Procedure Act 2023 till October 3

ISLAMABAD: In a historic move, the Supreme Court of Pakistan held the first-ever live broadcast of the court’s proceedings.

On his first day after assuming duties, Chief Justice Qazi Faiz Isa first convened the full court session as a 15-member bench resumed proceedings. This is the first time since 2015 since a full court session has been convened regarding military trials in the 21st Amendment. 

His predecessors Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial and Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed had failed to convene a full court meeting.

Before the session, the judges held a full court meeting was held on a four-point agenda in committee room No. 1 of the court. The meeting held consultations on issues including handling pending cases in the Supreme Court, which will be heard on a priority basis.

The meeting also discussed live broadcasts of court proceedings and strategies for effective hearing of cases. In this regard, state-owned PTV has placed four cameras in the visitor’s gallery for the live broadcast of court proceedings.

The court started hearing applications against the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Act. CJP Isa said the live telecast of the court proceedings has started. The judges welcomed the chief justice as he assumed duties. 

READ MORE: Justice Qazi Faez Isa takes oath as Chief Justice of Pakistan

The government has submitted its reply in the case. Chief Justice Justice Qazi Faiz Isa constituted the full court bench after taking oath as the top judge of the apex court. Previously, an eight-member bench led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial had issued a stay order on the enforcement of the bill which limited the Chief Justice’s power to take suo moto notice.

The bill required the formation of benches on constitutional matters of public importance by a committee of three senior judges. According to the new law, a committee comprising three senior judges led by CJ would decide the fate of the suo moto cases. Moreover, the new legislation allowed to appeal against sentences awarded on suo moto notices.

In a statement, a Justice Isa-led commission had earlier questioned the formation of a bench that was hearing a set of six challenges against the probe body formed to look into the audio leaks, saying that the bench hearing the matter was not determined by a three-member committee of judges as required under the suspended act.

Since the petitions challenging the audio commission were not fixed before the bench constituted by the committee of judges; therefore, these petitions cannot be heard until the committee determines which bench should hear them, the commission had stated.

On June 3, Justice Isa decided not to sit on a nine-judge bench hearing cases on the trial of civilians by the military courts. He said that until the court decides about the vires of the practice and procedure law he will not sit on the benches. 

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