A case is being heard before a bench of all judges of the Pakistan Supreme Court, in which the validity of the Supreme Court ( Practice and Procedure ) Act, 2023 has been challenged. It can be seen live on YouTube.
I submit that this hearing is illegal because the Chief Justice of the Pakistan Supreme Court, Qazi Faez Isa, is on this bench.
The case pertains to powers of the Chief Justice, and hence Chief Justice Isa should have recused himself from the bench , otherwise it would be violative of the principles of natural justice, which state that justice should not only be done but also appear to be done.
Since the Chief Justice was disqualified from sitting on this bench, as the case pertains to his powers, the entire hearing was illegal, since it is well settled in law that even if one member of a bench is disqualified the entire hearing is illegal, as one cannot say how much he influenced other members. One is reminded of a case heard by the Indian Supreme Court In which CJI Gogoi presided over a bench, although the case pertained to him.
It is surprising that neither the Hon’ble Judges on the bench, nor the learned lawyers raised this objection. And it is even more surprising that the head of Pakistan’s judiciary, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa does not know this elementary principle of law, and did not recuse himself from the case.
One shudders to think what he will do hereafter.