The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice was held on Thursday at Parliament House under the Chairmanship of Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi.
The meeting was attended by Senator Farooq Hamid Naek, Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, Senator Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, Senator Musadak Masood Malik, Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokar, Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Sitara Ayaz, Senator Mohsin Aziz, Senator Mushaidullah Khan, Senator Sajjad Hussain Turi, Senator Ahmed Khan, Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar, Senator Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti and senior officers of the Ministry of Law and Justice along with all concerned.
The agenda taken up by the Committee included, the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2019, introduced by Senator Farooq H. Naek in the Senate sitting held on 2nd September, 2019, the Constitution (Amendment Bill), 2019 (Amendment Articles 51 and 106) the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 (Amendment of Articles 1, 51, 59, 106, 175A, 198 and 2018) and the Islamabad Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2018, introduced by Senator Mohsin Aziz, as reported by the Standing Committee on Interior. The sit in of the Employees of the State Life Insurance Corporation for their demands raised by Senator Mushahidullah Khan, in the Senate sitting held on 26th April, 2019 was also taken up.
The National Accountability (Amendment) Bill 2019 and the Islamabad Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2018 were passed unanimously by the Committee.
While discussing the Constitution Amendment Bill, 2019, Senator Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, who along with others introduced it was of the view that population must cease to be the milestone that determines seats in the National and Provincial Assemblies. He stressed the need for a shift in this trend and introducing a mechanism that ensures length and breadth of constituency terrain to determine number of seats. He added that with the merging of FATA in KPK seats had increased, emphasizing the same for Balochistan. Chairman Committee, Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi was of the view that an MNA’s constituency in Punjab entails 357 km, whereas that in Balochistan expands over 30000 Sq Km. This makes it difficult for MNAs to perform duties in the province. Senator Javed Abbasi was of the view that this policy must be adopted nation-wide. Senator Faroq H. Naek was of the view that there are many lacunas in the bill which would require several amendments in different articles. The Committee directed the Ministry of Law and Justice to present its opinion on the matter within 3 weeks.
Discussing the Constitution (Amendment Bill), 2019 (Amendment Articles 51 and 106), that pertained to giving Central and Southern Punjab the status of a province. Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, who also introduced it along with others, said that in 2015 this bill was approved by a majority in the Senate of Pakistan. It was also the part of the PTI manifesto in the elections; however, after several months no progress has been made in this regard. Senator Farooq Hamid Naek was of the view that according to Article 239 section 4, to change the status of any province, prior approval of the concerned provincial assembly is imperative. The Ministry was of the view that any part of the Constitution may be changed by the Parliament.
While taking up the matter of sit in of the Employees of the State Life Insurance Corporation for their demands raised by Senator Mushahidullah Khan, the Committee decided to summon the State life Insurance Corporation Employees for their side of the story in the next meeting. The issue pertained to 21000 sales employees, who have been promoted from Sales Officers to Managers; 11000 objected to this measure.