Pakistan’s judiciary needs reform as it is often accused of involvement in “political engineering” and distorts democracy and governance, according to Dawn. In recent years the judiciary’s excesses, which frequently go beyond the bounds of petitions, have led to a near-untouchable and unaccountable status. Despite being the brainchild of a grassroots campaign, Pakistan judiciary’s impression of being controlled by the establishment has only grown, and it has repeatedly been accused of regime change. For example, Article 184(3), which grants the Supreme Court suo motu powers, has led to unnecessary invalidation of legislative and executive actions in some cases. Furthermore, the recent suo motu action by the Supreme Court over the delay in the provincial elections in Punjab was not justified and caused controversy in light of some judges who were absent from the hearing. Justice Qazi Faez Isa has argued the CJP does not have unilateral power to constitute benches and select judges and that all cases under Article 184(3) be postponed until amendments are made to the Supreme Court Rules 1980 regarding the CJPs discretionary powers. The CJP rejected this and resumed hearing with three remaining judges. This three-member bench has since recognised the ECP decision to postpone polls in Punjab till Oct 8 as “unconstitutional” and fixed May 14 as the date for elections in the province.

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