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SC judges question CJP’s powers

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Two judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail have raised questions over the power of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, saying that the apex court cannot be dependent on the solitary decision of one man.

The judges said that it is important “to revisit the power of ‘one-man show’ enjoyed by the office of the Chief Justice of Pakistan [Umar Ata Bandial]”. They highlighted the drawbacks of running a “one-man show”, which leads to the concentration of power in the hands of one individual, making the system more susceptible to the abuse of power.

The judges mentioned that the chief justice of this court was conferred with wide discretion in the matter of constituting benches and assigning cases to them under the present Supreme Court Rules 1980. They suggested that in order to build a strong, open, and transparent institution, “we have to move towards a rule-based institution”.

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