Legislation sovereign, constitutional right of NA: Sherry Rehman

Islamabad: Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman on Wednesday said the legislation like Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 is the sovereign and constitutional right of the lower house of the parliament.

Participating in the debate on the legislative proposal related to judicial reforms, the federal minister said the Prime Minister in his speech had aptly made a clear depiction of the situation.

Senator Rehman said the notions like powers delegated to one person and the imperial Supreme Court were not stated by this house. She added that in the current situation, dissenting voices were arising from within the benches of the Court.

She said, “We have for the first time seen such a situation of division and indecisiveness in Pakistan.

This division is not good for the benches, courts and the country because rule of law is the right of this house and legislation is the right of this house that has been asserted today.”

The concerns related to this Bill made by the members of the house and media should not have this impact that the house was influencing an institution, she added.

“The Parliament at the moment is exercising its sovereign right and power.

There has been a hue and cry on this matter for over past four decades since the time of General Zia-ul-Haq,” she said.

The Minister underlined that during Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s trial, two judges were moved out and the trial was delayed until his judicial assassination.

One retired after the complete season and one got ill and then after creating a balance in the bench of the apex court the dictator got the sentence of his will.

“After that judicial assassination that changed the history of the country which the world had endorsed, General Zia had conferred all the powers of bench formation and hearing of cases to one person. It has taken us 43 years but it is time to reverse that law and it’s the right of the Parliament,” Sherry Rehman said.

The Minister said that it did not mean that the judiciary and legislature demanded some confrontation and there was no direct confirmation between the two.

She added that no responsible parliament would ever wish to create conflict with institutions in times of uncertainty.

Sherry Rehman said the most important issue for us and the public was the political crisis leading to an economic crisis for which a political process should be started to resolve the issue.

“We are not playing politics on this matter. The government has always sought a stable government and governance. This law is not of our own will. We want to introduce more laws. We don’t want to create violence and uncertainty as Imran Khan wants to bring anarchy,” she added.

The Minister stated that the coalition government introduced NAB Laws amendments that did not benefit them but rather Imran Khan and his party leaders who elsewhere would have been in remand for 90 days.

“We are not the party that is hiding from anything and neither is this government whether it is polls or any judicial proceeding. Justice must be done but it must be seemed to be done,” Senator Rehman said.

This, she said, is the natural law of justice and that was how the Supreme Court would be able to restore its legitimacy. “They should appreciate this law and it will be better for them to restore their legitimacy and we will help them in all ways,” she added.