5 new SC benches to work from Monday
* APNS review petition against award fixed for January 4
By Mohammad Kamran
ISLAMABAD: Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui, chief justice of Pakistan, has constituted five different benches comprising 14 judges to resume regular hearings of cases, after winter vacations, from Monday and has fixed some important petitions for the coming working week.
Among the important cases are: review petition of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) against the 7th Wage Board Award for newspaper employees; constitutional matter of judges’ pension and retirement benefits, petitions against local government ordinance vis-à-vis no-trust motions against nazims and naib nazims and shifting anti-terrorism cases to ordinary courts.
On Monday a bench comprising Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Rana Bahagwandas and Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan will hear a constitutional petition regarding judges’ retirement benefits. Eight retired judges of the High Court who were not given full retirement benefits have moved the apex court for relief. The government has not provided the benefits despite the fact that the Sindh High Court had passed a verdict for granting the full pension in a similar case.
According to presidential directives, judges of the High Court with less than five years of service were not entitled to some benefits admissible to other retired High Court judges. The petitioners had retired before they could complete the five-year period. A full bench of apex court will hear the case.
On Tuesday, the same bench will hear the review petition of APNS. Earlier a full bench of the Supreme Court dismissed this petition, but instead of implementing the award, APNS members have filed a review petition seeking reversal of the judgement.
Another bench comprising Justice Hamid Ali Mirza, Justice Falak Sher and Justice M Javed Buttar will hear petitions of victims of the no-trust motion in the new local government set-up. The petitioners have challenged some provisions and rules of business of the Local Government Ordinance, 2001. The same bench will also take up an important case concerning the legality of shifting a terrorism case to an ordinary court.