The legislation's most notable provision is the removal of the chief justice's authority to take action without a request from parties concerned.
Pakistan's lower house has passed a set of legislation, curbing some key powers of the chief justice of the Supreme Court, state-run Pakistan Television reported.
The Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Bill 2023 was passed by the National Assembly on Wednesday without any significant opposition.
The legislation was already approved by the cabinet in its hurriedly called meeting in the capital Islamabad, with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair on Tuesday.
The legislation's most notable provision is the removal of the chief justice's authority to take a suo moto notice, a legal term used in South Asian countries to refer to actions taken by courts on their own initiative without a request from the parties concerned.
Suo moto notices issued by chief justices have long been a source of contention between the top judiciary and governments, with several bar councils also opposing the controversial power.
The bill, which will be sent to the Senate for approval, where the ruling alliance has the required majority, also deprives the chief justice of the authority to constitute the benches of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
If the bill is approved by the Senate, which seems likely, it will be sent to the president for his signature before it becomes law.
READ MORE: Pakistan says 'values' friendship with US but will skip democracy summit
Political turmoil to further deepen
The legislation, rejected by the key opposition party, comes on the heels of a detailed descending note of the two apex court judges issued earlier this week, in which they called for revisiting the chief justice's power, saying the country’s top court could not “be dependent on the solitary decision of one man.”
Justices Mansoor Ali Shah and Jamal Khan Mandokhail were part of a seven-member bench that heard former Prime Minister Imran Khan's petition to hold elections in northeastern Punjab and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces within 90 days of their desolations under the constitutional framework.
The two judges argued that the suo moto proceedings concerning the provincial elections were dismissed by a 4-3 majority and that the chief justice did not have the power to restructure benches without the consent of the respective judges.
Earlier, Sharif delivered a fiery speech in parliament on Tuesday in support of the legislation, calling the dissenting note a "ray of hope."
However, Asad Umar, the secretary general of Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI), rejected the legislation, describing it as an "attack" on the apex court's "independence."
The legislation, many believe, will not only be challenged in the Supreme Court but is likely to invite a backlash from the legal fraternity.
If any legislation passed by the parliament is deemed to be in violation of the constitution, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has the authority to overturn it.
READ MORE: Pakistan court suspends arrest warrant for former PM Imran Khan