Article 184: proposed amendment aimed at protecting PM?

The government’s decision to introduce a bill to amend the Article 184 of Constitution at this juncture seems to be targeted to protect Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif from any adverse decision by the apex court in the Panama Papers case.

This was stated by Chairman Judicial Activism Panel, advocate Mohammad Azhar Siddique, on Saturday though he acknowledged that the right of appeal was a long standing demand of the legal fraternity in suo motu jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

“We welcome the new bill providing a remedy against any judgement or decision passed under the exercise of jurisdiction by the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution of Pakistan as no remedy is currently available except to file a review petition in view of Article 188 of the Constitution and that too is limited to errors apparent on the face of the record”, Siddique said.

Talking to Business Recorder, Siddique said that during his entire professional life he has “never come across any decision in review whereby this power has been exercised as an appeal in line with Indian jurisdiction”.

He pointed out that right of appeal against the decision of High Courts is provided in Article 185 of the Constitution and as such the matter agitated from civil or criminal courts at different forums is finally settled at Supreme Court.

The proposed 24th constitutional amendment of Article 184 of the Constitution stipulates: “(4) Any person aggrieved by an order passed by the Supreme Court under clause (3) may, within thirty days of the passing of such order, prefer an appeal to the Supreme Court. (5) An appeal preferred under clause (4) shall be heard by a Bench larger than the Bench which had passed the order under appeal.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2016