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SC issues notice to NWFP Government, Advocates General in Hisba Bill Reference

ISLAMABAD, Jul 15 (APP): A five-member bench of the Supreme Court Friday issued notices to NWFP Government and Advocates General of all the four provinces on a reference filed by the Federation seeking the Apex Court's opinion on Hisba Bill 2005. The court after hearing arguments of the Attorney General for Pakistan admitted the reference for regular hearing. The regular hearing of the reference will be held on July 25 here.

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Hamid Ali Mirza, Justice Faqir Muhammad Khokhar, Justice M. Javed Buttar and Justice Sayed Saeed Ashhad took up the matter at Karachi Registry on Friday.

Attorney General for Pakistan, Makhdoom Ali Khan appearing on behalf of the

Federation raised various questions about the constitutionality of the Hisba Bill.

The Reference about Hisba Bill 2005 passed by NWFP Assembly on Thursday, was filed under Article 186 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973, through Secretary, Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights.

According to the Hisba Bill Reference filed by the Attorney General for Pakistan under Article 186 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The Federal government has sought the advisory opinion of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on constitutional questions raised by the Hisba Bill, 2005.

The questions raised in the Reference are:

(i) Whether the Hisba Bill or any of its provisions, would be constitutionally invalid if enacted?

(ii) Whether the Hisba Bill or any of its provisions, would, if enacted, be violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed in Part-II, Chapter I of the Constitution, including but not limited to Articles 9, 14, 16 to 20, 22 and 25 thereof?

(iii) Whether the Hisba Bill or any of its provisions would, if enacted, be violative of Articles 2A, 4, 203G, 212, 229 and 230 of the Constitution?

(iv) Whether the enactment of the Hisba Bill would encroach on an occupied field, violate the Constitution by creating a parallel judicial system, undermine judicial independence and deny citizens their right of access to justice?

(v) Whether the enactment of the Hisba Bill would violate the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution?

((vi) Whether the Hisba Bill, and in particular Sections 10 and 23 thereof, is unconstitutionally overboard and vague and suffers from excessive delegation?

(vii) If the answer of any one or more of the above questions is in the affirmative, whether the Governor, NWFP is obliged to sign into law the Hisba Bill passed by the NWFP Assembly?



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