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Senate rejects National Accountability (Amendment) Bill

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Published: July 20, 2016 12:52 pm

Bill seeks amendments to Legal Practitioners Act

ISLAMABAD: The Senate has rejected the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2015 with difference of one vote which was aimed to constitute autonomous Accountability Bureau at the level of provinces to probe corruption cases.

The bill was introduced by Senator Taj Haider in the House on November 2, 2015 following which it was referred to Senate Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights. Leader of the House in Senate Raja Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq also supported the referral of the Bill to the Committee as he was of the view that the bill has several constitutional and legal implications and must be deliberated upon by the relevant committee.

 

After presentation of relevant committee’s report, the bill was made part of Senate’s July 18, 2016 agenda. The Chair ordered for voting on the bill and the result came 20 votes on each side. After some time, the Chair again conducted voting on the bill, and some treasury members were seen coming to the House to cast their vote. As a result, the counting result tilted in favour of the treasury as 23 votes were polled against the bill and 22 in favour, leaving the bill rejected by one vote only.

The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill stated that “the 18th Amendment of the Constitution of Pakistan provides for greater autonomy of the federating units. The subject of anti-corruption is a residuary subject. There is a need to constitute autonomous Accountability Bureau at the level of the provinces.

Legislation to this effect is already underway in the provinces. It is, therefore, expedient that while the Provincial Accountability Bureaus deal with the cases within the respective provinces, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) performs its duties more diligently in the departments of the Federal Government.

The Bill seeks to delete the provisions extending the jurisdiction of NAB in departments of provincial governments from the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999”.

According to Article 143 of the Constitution “ if any provision of an Act of a Provincial Assembly is repugnant to any provision of an Act of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) which Majlis-e-Shoora  (Parliament)  is  competent  to  enact,  then the  Act  of  Majlis-e- Shoora  (Parliament),  whether  passed  before  or  after  the  Act  of  the Provincial Assembly, shall prevail and the Act of the Provincial Assembly shall, to the extent of the repugnancy, be void”.

Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) contacted the mover Taj Haider soon after introduction of the bill in House.  He said that that basic purpose to introduce this bill is to remove `inconsistency’ due to Article 143 of the Constitution and give authority to the provinces to handle their own issues by themselves after 18th Amendment.

He said that every institution should have its jurisdiction and it should work within the limits. “Federal laws should be only for the federal departments with restriction not to impose them on provincial departments,” Taj Haider maintained.

The mover therefore seeks to amend Sections 5, 25, 27, 33B, 33C and 36 of the NAB Ordinance and recommends omitting the words “the provincial government or the local government”.

Posted by on July 20, 2016. Filed under Latest Post,Legislation Senate,News,Senate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry