The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case about a law that requires a committee of three senior judges to form benches for important constitutional matters. This is the first time the hearing is being broadcast live on television, and all 15 judges are presiding over the case. The Attorney General for Pakistan, Mansoor Usman Awan, took the stand after a short break. Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa formed a full court to hear pleas challenging the legislation, which was suspended earlier in April. The lawyers arguing the pleas began their arguments, but faced interruptions from the judges asking them to focus on the case. The lawyers argued that the law was an intrusion by Parliament into the affairs of the Supreme Court, and that every institution should remain in its domain. The court asked the lawyers to read out the law, but also advised them to focus on their arguments and respond to the questions afterwards. The lawyers argued that Parliament should not have the power to decide which bench hears a case, and that the law eroded the independence of the judiciary. The judges questioned whether Parliament had the authority to block the exercise of judicial power. The lawyers also discussed the powers of the Chief Justice and whether the law curtailed the powers of the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice reminded the lawyers to stick to constitutional arguments. Another lawyer argued that the primary question was whether Article 184(3) could be invoked and that they needed to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. The Chief Justice clarified some points during the hearing.
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