Supreme Court deems law expanding review of orders and judgments as “null and void”

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has invalidated the Supreme Court (Review of Judgments and Orders) Act 2023, which aimed to broaden the scope of review petitions. A three-member bench, led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, delivered the reserved verdict, stating that the act was unconstitutional. The court had previously expressed reservations about enacting such laws without comprehensive consultation with legal experts. The law had granted the right of appeal against decisions made by the apex court. Several constitutional petitions had been filed challenging the legislation, with the court conducting six hearings on the matter. The government argued that the law expanded the court’s jurisdiction and did not curb its powers, while the opposition believed it was an attempt to reverse the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the PML-N. The court’s ruling comes shortly after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced that Nawaz Sharif would return to Pakistan next month.

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