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Six bills passed, eight introduced during Senate’s 255th session

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Published: December 6, 2016 12:33 pm


ISLAMABAD: The Senate took up heavy legislative agenda during its 255th session as it passed six bills and witnessed introduction of eight legislative proposals that were referred to the relevant standing committees for further consideration.

The bills passed by the House included the Pakistan Engineering Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Central Law Officers (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Islamabad High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Plant Breeders’ Rights Bill, 2016 and the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016. One of the bills – the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues (Amendment) Bill, 2016 – was deferred while the Companies Ordinance, 2016 was presented.

The Pakistan Engineering Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 aims to provide legal cover to the inclusion of the Engineer-in-Chief, Pakistan Army in the Governing Body of the Pakistan Engineering council.

The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2016 states that in in case of public nuisances and public charities, the Advocate General or two or more persons with the leave of the Court, may institute a suit for declaration and injunction or for such other relief as may be appropriate to the circumstances of the case.

The Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan has recommended amendment in the said sections for institution of suit relating to public nuisances and public charities direct with the leave of court without permission of the Advocate General. The proposed legislation will result in expeditious disposal of cases.

The Central Law Officers (Amendment) Bill, 2016 aims to rename the post of the Standing Counsel as Assistant Attorney-General by amending the Central Law Officers Ordinance, 1970 (VII of 1970) following the recommendation of the Attorney-General for Pakistan.

The Islamabad High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2016 aims at bringing the jurisdiction of the Islamabad High Court and Civil Courts in Islamabad Capital Territory in consonance with High Courts and Civil Courts of the other Provinces and also reduce work-load of Islamabad High Court.

The Plant Breeders’ Rights Bill, 2016 aims to encourage the development of new plant varieties and to protect the rights of breeders of such varieties. The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 aims to ensure stringent measures to curb the menace of terrorism.

Besides these bills, eight more bills were introduced, including the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University Islamabad (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Right to Information Bill, 2016; the Juvenile Justice System (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Islamabad Prohibition of Expressing Matters on Walls Bill, 2016; the National Commission for International Law and Commitments Bill, 2016; the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Amendment of Article 209); the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (Amendment) Bill, 2016; and the Hindu Marriage Bill, 2016.

Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University Islamabad (Amendment) Bill, 2016 says that, the PIMS, a tertiary level hospital was upgraded to become a University which is an anomaly and resentment is found in 3000 strong work force of PIMS and public at large. They are of the view that their status as a civil servant will be endangered which is detrimental to their interest. The up-gradation of PIMS to the status of the university will make PIMS as an autonomous corporate body that will have serious repercussions for the general public. This hospital / university shall not be able to provide the general public health care services at such cheap costs.

Many sections/ sub-sections/clauses of the Act are conflicting to the Higher Education Commission / federal university ordinance which is the guiding force behind the establishment of any new university. This Bill, therefore, seeks to remove the above stated anomalies in order to bring this Act at par with the HEC Federal Universities Ordinance, 2002 and other public sector medical universities.

The Right to Information Bill, 2016 aims to provide for the right to information in a rapid and low –cost manner, subject only to reasonable restrictions established by law.

The bill aims to further the objectives of Article l9-A of the Constitution and to promote public right to information to enhance transparency and hence accountability.

The Juvenile Justice System (Amendment) Bill, 2016 strives to remove the lacunas and loopholes of Juvenile Justice System Ordinance,2000. It is also one of the objects of the Bill to harmonize the law on juvenile justice with the International Convention

The Islamabad Prohibition of Expressing Matters on Walls Bill, 2016 prohibits the expression of matters on walls in the Federal Capital. Presently no law deals in Islamabad has affixed any penalty for wall chalking or writing different expressions on walls. The writings on the walls tarnishes the urban scenery and beauty of the city. This Bill strives to proscribe and discourage people from putting expressions on the walls of the city.

The National Commission for International Law and Commitments Bill, 2016 seeks to establish National Commission for International Law and Commitments which would conduct research on the impact of International Treaties in Pakistan and to maintain record of international treaties, conventions and agreements signed by Pakistan, which should be easily accessible by Government Departments and also the citizens of Pakistan.

The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Amendment of Article 209) states as how to proceed in case of complaint against Chief Justice of Pakistan. It states that in case of complaint against the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the senior most Judge of the Supreme Court shall head the Council, with two next senior judges as its members. Similarly, the accused Chief Justice of a High Court shall be replaced with the senior Chief Justice of another High Court in the Council.

The Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (Amendment) Bill, 2016 will amend Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) Act, 1975 and to affiliate the educational institutions with FBISE which go beyond Cantonments, Garrisons and Federal Areas.

The Hindu Marriage Bill, 2016 gives a legal framework to the marriages in minority community and paving the way for the adoption of a comprehensive and widely-acceptable family law for Hindus living in Pakistan.

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