Senate Committee on Delegated Legislation in its meeting has observed that the subordinate legislation framed by the executive has to be in consistency and within the scope of principal legislation passed by the Parliament and cannot be ultra vires to it. The sense of the Committee, that executive should not have unbridled or arbitrary powers in making rules and regulations as part of delegated legislation, was endorsed by the Caretaker Minister for Law who observed that there is a need for structuring of discretion and thus the need to work on the framework of scope and time of framing the subordinate legislation that includes rules, gazette notifications, statutes among others.
The first meeting of the Committee was held with Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq in the chair here at the Parliament House on Wednesday and was attended among others by Senators Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Dr. Asad Ashraf, Azam Khan Swati, Mian Raza Rabbani, Rukhsana Zuberi, Kalsoom Parveen, Caretaker Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Ali Zafar, Law Secretary Abdul Shakoor Paracha, Senior Legislative Advisor Hakam Khan and Additional Draftsman Sheikh Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Chairperson of the Committee apprised the members about functions and significance of Committee on Delegated legislation and observed that this Committee is becoming more and more functional in Parliaments around the world as the need for focusing on efficacy of subordinate legislation and post legislative scrutiny is as important as the principal legislation passed by the Parliament.
Former Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani who pioneered the idea of having this committee in Senate while talking of international best practices observed that in Canada and other countries the legislature puts a sun down clause while passing the Acts under which framework and time deadlines, the executive has to undergo the process of formulating relevant rules under the Act. Chairperson Committee remarked that this Committee can learn a lot from international best practices in the area of delegated legislation. Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo stressed upon the need of making it a compulsion by force of law for timely framing of subordinate legislation.
The Committee was given a comprehensive briefing by the Ministry of Law and Justice on the concept and need for delegated legislation, which is the power conferred by the Parliament to the executive to ensure that subordinate legislation is carried out in result of and in accordance with the interpretation of the Acts passed by the Parliament.
Beside other achievements of Senate Committee on Delegated Legislation, the Chairperson apprised the members that on Committee’s recommendation, the Establishment Division has amended Rule 9 of the CSS Rules according to which people with disability are now allowed to compete on equal basis in the competitive examinations for all the 12 twelve service groups of the civil service. The Committee also deliberated in detail about the future work plan of the Committee with useful suggestions by members. Senator Azam Swati suggested that Ministries and associated divisions should be given the task and responsibility of reviewing their subordinate legislation to ensure it to be is in line with principal legislation, and to remove any anomalies by amending such rules or regulations as required.