Supreme Court to hear high profile cases today


ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court will resume hearing today (Monday) on various high profile constitutional cases including privatization of Habib Bank, missing persons, contempt proceedings against PCO judges and NAB Amendment Ordinance.
A three-member bench comprising Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani and Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed will hear the petitions against privatization of Habib Bank, NAB Amendment Ordinance and missing persons. Another three-member bench comprising Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan, Justice Nasirul Mulk and Justice Mian Saqib Nisar will hear a plea of Mukhtar Mai seeking enhancement in the sentence of those accused of her gang rape.
A four-member larger bench comprising Justice Mahmood Akhtar Shahid Siddiqui, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez will hear contempt of court cases against the superior courts’ judges who had take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) in defiance of seven-member bench’s Nov 3,2007 restraining order. In the current month, a 17-judge bench will also resume hearing on various challenges to the 18th Amendment.
It was adjourned till third week of this month after a Supreme Court short order referred to parliament for reconsideration a new mechanism introduced under Article 175-A of the 18th Amendment for appointment of superior courts’ judges.
Since guidelines suggested by the Supreme Court have already become part of the constitution after President Asif Ali Zardari gave his assent to the 19th Amendment, no further irritant appears to be left. According to senior lawyers, “The 18th and 19th Amendments have significantly transformed the power and authority in respect of the appointment of superior courts’ judges to more institutional than individual.”