Six-member bench to review Justice Isa’s order on Article 184(3) today

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ISLAMABAD: A six-member bench of the Supreme Court was formed on Tuesday to review an order passed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa postponing proceedings under Article 184 (3).

The bench would take up the matter at 2:00pm.

Justice Isa, while hearing a case regarding the grant of additional 20 marks to Hafiz-e-Quran candidates while applying to get admission into MBBS/BDS degrees, had ordered to halt all proceedings on the suo motu.

The larger bench includes Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Ayesha A Malik, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi.

On March 30, A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa and comprising Justice Aminuddin Khan and Justice Shahid Waheed, issued a majority order of 2-1 in a suo moto case regarding the grant of 20 marks to Hafiz-e-Quran while seeking admission in MBBS/BDS Degree under Regulation 9(9) of the MBBS and BDS (Admissions, House Job and Internship) Regulations, 2018.

The bench ordered the postponement of cases being heard under Article 184(3) of the Constitution till the amendments made in the Supreme Court Rules 1980 regarding the discretionary powers of the Chief Justice of Pakistan to form benches.

Later, a circular was issued by the SC Registrar Ishrat Ali ‘disregarding’ the order, triggering controversy about whether a judicial order can be overruled by an administrative order.

However, Justice Qazi wrote a letter to the government asking it to remove the registrar for further “damaging the reputation and integrity” of the top court. Subsequently, the federal government withdrew his services.

‘Divided Supreme Court’

Meanwhile, Law Minister Azam Nzeer Tarar has termed the development as an endorsement of their stance that a judicial order can’t be set aside through a “circular”.

“We had asked for holding proceedings under 184(3). The Supreme Court should have addressed this confusion on the suo motu issue and the same was proposed by the Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan yesterday.”

The minister said that the top judiciary is divided and it is the responsibility of CJP [Umar Ata Bandia] to remove this perception.

CJP should have taken this matter to the full court meeting and settled this, he added.

Tarrar said that no one would accept this verdict with so much controversy

He advised the CJP to call a full court meeting else this would turn into a full fledge constitutional crisis.

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