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Presidential Reference: SC to announce judgment on composition of bench on 22nd

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will announce judgment on composition of the bench for hearing the review petitions against the SC’s judgment against the Presidential Reference on February 22nd.

A six-judge bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, on December 10, 2020 had reserved order on the composition of the bench.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa, various bar councils and associations, and Sarina Isa have filed review petitions against the apex court’s judgment against the Presidential Reference.

The counsels of all the parties and Sarina Isa have prayed that the same bench, which had rendered the judgment against the Presidential Reference be constituted and the judges who wrote dissenting notes also be included in the bench for hearing of the review petitions.

It’s the arguments of the petitioners’ lawyers that in Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s murder case seven judges heard the case.

Four out of seven members awarded death sentence to Bhutto, while the remaining three wrote dissenting notes.

Despite that the ZAB’s review was posted before the same bench, which heard the main case.

Munir A Malik had told the bench Order XXVI Rule 8 of the Supreme Court Rules, 1980 prescribes that the application for review shall be posted before the “same Bench” that delivered the judgment or order sought to be reviewed.

Sarina Isa told that she is seeking review not only of the majority judgment but also the two other judges’ judgments.

She requested the bench to provide a transcript of the submission she had made before the bench, during the hearing of the petitions against the Presidential Reference.

Justice Bandial asked her to apply for the copy of transcript in the SC Office, and advised that she should engage a lawyer to assist her in pleading of the review.

Sarina again said Chief Justice [Gulzar Ahmed] who constituted the bench to decide the composition of bench for hearing of review petitions is also one of the respondents in her petition against the apex court’s judgment.

Rasheed A Rizvi, representing the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalist (PFUJ) and the Sindh Bar Association, argued that it has been an old practice that the same number of judges hears the review petition, who have heard the main petition.

Referring the All Indian Court judgment in 1923, he said justice not only be done, but it seems to be done.

He said in the bars there is public perception that the 10-member bench should hear the case.

Rizvi asked what harm is if nine judges hear the review petitions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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