Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) passed a unanimous resolution in its 223rd meeting and urged the Supreme Court (SC) to define the parameters of the power of suo moto.
The PBC said in a press release, “PBC urges SC to amend the Supreme Court Rules, 1980, to define the parameters while exercising such powers and a special bench of the apex court should be constituted for hearing of suo moto cases.”
The PBC also urged the apex court to exercise its power sparingly under Article 184(3) of the constitution, the press release said. The article titled, “Original jurisdiction of Supreme Court”, contains three clauses which are as follows:
i. The Supreme Court shall, to the exclusion of every other court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute between any two or more governments.
ii. In the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on it by clause (1), the Supreme Court shall pronounce declaratory judgments only.
iii. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 199, the Supreme Court shall, if it considers that a question of public importance with reference to the enforcement of any of the Fundamental Rights conferred by Chapter I of Part II is involved, have the power to make an order of the nature mentioned in the said Article.
According to section 3 of Article 184, the apex court is allowed to intervene in matters which are of public importance and to enforce fundamental rights provided to the citizens. All suo motu notices taken by the top judge are based on this specific clause.
The PBC notification read that suo moto notices should only be taken in connection with the enforcement of fundamental rights to maintain a balance of power. “All state institutions should work within their constitutional domain while discharging their duties,” it further read.