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PM Shehbaz’s cabinet approvals bill aiming at curtailing powers of top judge

ISLAMABAD – The federal cabinet has approved an amendment bill that aims at clipping the powers of the chief justice of Pakistan regarding taking suo motu notice and constituting benches.

Reports said the top judge’s discretionary power of taking a suo motu notice would be revoked and it would be given to three senior judges of the top court. 

An immediate meeting of the federal cabinet was called to get approval for the amendments before presenting them in the National Assembly.

The development comes after Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday urged the National Assembly to make legislation to curtail powers enjoyed by the chief justice of Pakistan.

The made the call while speaking in the National Assembly a day after Supreme Court’s Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail raised objections over “one man show” powers of the top judge in their detailed judgments in the suo motu case related to elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The premier said, “History wouldn’t forgive us if legislation was not made”.

It all comes as the top court is hearing a petition filed by the PTI over delay in elections in Punjab. The Elections Commission of Pakistan (ECP), in its order, put off the polls till October 8 citing security and financial constraints. 

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