It is not correct to say that parliament wields unbridled powers: SC

Supreme Court (SC) has observed it is not correct to say that parliament wields unbridled powers.

A 17-member larger bench of SC resumed the hearing of identical petitions seeking nullification of certain clauses of 18tj amendment. The bench was led by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

Giving arguments on behalf of the federation Additional Attorney General (AAG) K.K Agha said parliament was manifestation of the representation of people and it worked as per will of people. The powers for abrogation of constitution had been done away with through article 6. Mention was made about the basic structure in other documents of the world while 1973 constitution was approved but this concept had not been accepted in our constitution, he contended.

Justice Javed Iqbal remarked it meant the parliament had limitless powers. KK Agha said parliament was a public institution and it was manifestation of public opinion.

“According to other federation lawyers public will was merely a name of concept” Justice Jawad S Khawaja remarked.

. KK Agha said electoral system was in place in the country and the elections were held then how could will of people be dubbed as concept.

What the touch stone the court had to adjudge that a law was in consonance with the public will or otherwise”, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa observed.

KK Agha said if any thing would be against the will of people they would come to streets and stage protests.

Civilized societies have nor room for it”, justice Ramday observed. KK Agha said SC had already maintained in Zia ur Rehman case that only parliament could legislate nor the court.

KK Agha said court had declared void 17th amendment which was introduced by one man.

“How much space was provided to the procedure related to appointment of judges in new constitutional amendment”, Justice Saqib Nisar observed.

Justice Ramday observed” no mention was made of parliamentary committee in election manifestoes for appointment of judges. Judicial commission was to be constituted for reformation of procedure for induction of judges and judicial system and not for appointment of judges”, justice Ramday remarked.

KK Agha said Raza Rabbani committee represented all political parties and it did the job of proposing reforms in place of commission.

“The proposal pertaining to reforms in judicial system was meant for subordinate courts. Debate was not held on the formation of commission but on the monitoring by the parliamentary committee:, justice Ramday remarked.

“What should the judiciary do if article 175- A particularly parliamentary committee was affecting independence of judiciary? Should it be waited that people to come to streets”, Justice Jawad S Khawaja remarked.

“To my view point the new procedure of appointment of judges clashed with constitutional provision related to separation of powers. What should court do in this situation”, Justice Tassadaq Hussain Jillani remarked.

The hearing has been adjourned till today.

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