High courts have no powers to take suo motu notice, rules SC

ISLAMABAD  – The Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled on Tuesday that the courts of the country could not exercise the power of taking suo motu notices.

A bench headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsan issued the ruling while hearing a petition against the Peshawar High Court’s (PHC) order to the provincial government for establishing a committee to determine the prices of livestock and poultry products.

The apex court has annulled the PHC’s verdict issued in the suo motu case, commenting that only the Supreme Court had an authority to take suo motu notice under Article 184/3 of the Constitution.

In his eight-page verdict, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan said the high courts were allowed to hear cases related to prices of goods. He observed that the PHC exercised the power of suo motu notice more than once as earlier it had imposed ban on the export of poultry products.

“The authority to import and export goods is not with the court but with the administration only,” it stated, adding: “The high court not only took suo motu notice but also interfered in the administrative affairs,”.

In September last, the top court set aside the PHC’s order to ban the export of poultry products. A two-member bench comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi issued the ruling on the appeals of M/s Sadiq Poultry (Pvt) Ltd against the PHC’s order.