Bar: SCBA asks judges to must observe restrain in public interest litigation

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Bar Association SCBA on Monday resolved that in the matters of public interest litigation the judges must act with restrain and observe all rules of due process and fair trial.

In a resolution, the SCBA stated that when governance is weak and there is a void in term of protecting people’s economic, political and fundamental rights the courts rightly steps in, thus in the matters of public interest litigation the judges must act with restrain and observe all rules of due process and fair trial.

It said the suo moto jurisdiction should be used sparingly where prompt and urgent action is required for immediate prevention or redress of violation of human rights. It said that an appeal should be allowed in all cases, where the apex court initiates the proceeding directly or under article 184 3 of the Constitution.

It further said that the Supreme Court should refrain from setting up commissions of inquiries as it was not in accordance with the laws of the country, adding that the courts should seek the best legal assistance in cases of public interest litigation from the bar and confine itself to the enforcement of fundamental rights.

The resolution stated that the bonafide of the petitioner or party should be established so that public interest litigation does not become a pawn in the hands of vested interested persons, adding that the rules of Supreme Court may be amended to make regulations for procedure of public interest litigation.

It said the subordinate judiciary is strengthened so as to enable the judges of plenary jurisdiction to deliver efficacious justice to public at large. It said the courts have the duty of implementing constitutional safeguard for individual rights but it cannot push back the limits of constitution to accommodate the challenged violation. Therefore, it said the exercise of self-restraint was must.

The resolution said the courts must not give the perception that its order can be flouted with impunity and refrain from passing orders which cannot be enforced, and beyond its jurisdiction. It said the public interest litigation should not be used when issues involved are highly technical, complex and relate to the policy making etc.

The resolution said the SCBA is mindful that this is a period of evolution and learning, therefore the bar and bench should together strengthen the principles on which public interest litigation jurisprudence can be developed.

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