Under the Chairmanship of Senator Syed Ali Zafar, Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice, passed “The Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights (Amendment) Bill 2021 by majority vote.
The Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 (Amendment of Section 4) and the Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 (Amendment of Section 7) has been deferred for further consideration.
Islamabad, July 1, 2021: A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice was held on Thursday, under the chairmanship of Senator Syed Ali Zafar at Parliament House. The meeting was attended by the Minister for Law and Justice Farogh Naseem and other officials of the ministry. The Chairman Committee welcomed the members of the Committee and officials of the Ministry of Law and Justice.
At the beginning of the meeting, Secretary Law and Justice Raja Naeem Akbar briefed the committee on the performance and functioning of the Ministry of Law and Justice. The committee reviewed the performance of special courts and administrative tribunals.
Minister for Law and Justice Farogh Naseem apprised the committee that the experiment of appointing judges through FPSC had failed.. He informed the committee that the procedure for the appointment of judges had been changed. The Chairman Committee said that the procedure for the appointment of judges is an important issue. He said that the procedure for the appointment of judges needs to be reviewed. The Chairman Committee sought a detailed briefing from the Ministry on the issue of the appointment of judges.
While the Secretary law and justice were mentioning the courts been managed by the External Administrative Wing of the Ministry, Senator Farooq H Naik questioned the non-presence of the Accountability Court on the list. During the discussion on the appointment of judges, Senator Azam Nazir Tarar underlined that all appointments are null and void unless the Chief Justice is consulted.
On the non-presence of the accountability court on the list which was tabled by secretary Law and justice, the secretary said that it was omitted mistakenly. The Chairman Committee rectified the list and directed the Ministry to give a detailed briefing in this regard at the next meeting.
Discussion on Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 lasted for almost seventy-five minutes. The Chairman of the committee said that for the first time in 60 years, I am seeing a bill brought for a particular sect. He informed the committee participants that the Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1962 had decided that legislation will not be made for a particular sect, but the Muslims of Pakistan. He said that the people have already declared the bill as wrong and controversial. The chairman of the committee also pointed out the errors in the draft of the bill. The chairman of the committee also recommended to invite and hear Ulema’s point of view on the matter.
Conceding with the chairman's view on the bill, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani said that the issue should be discussed in detail. Regarding the bill, Senator Azam Nazir Tarar also agreed with the chairman of the committee. Senator Farooq H Naik declared the proposed amendments ( Section 4 and Section 7) contrary to Muslim laws. He said that the bill should either be sent to Islamic Ideology Council (IIC) or consult the Ulema on the matter. Senator Shibli Faraz said that the bill will create more problems. Senator Musaddiq Malik emphasised that we can only move and decide forward on the bill after reading the laid bill and proposed amendments thoroughly. The Chairman Committee adjourned the matter till the next meeting by issuing orders to the Ministry of Law and Justice to give a detailed briefing along with data and charts at the next meeting regarding the amendment in Section 4 and Section 7 of the Muslim Family Laws Amendment Bill 2021.
The committee also reviewed “ The Enforcement of Women's Property Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2021. After a detailed discussion, the bill was passed by a majority vote. Senator Mian Raza Rabbani opposed the bill.
The committee meeting was attended by Senator Syed Shibli Faraz, Senator Azam Nazir Tarar, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, Senator Farooq Hamid Naik, Senator Musaddiq Malik, Senator Walid Iqbal, and Senator Muhammad Humayun Mohmand. Minister for Law and Justice Farogh Naseem, Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Malika Bukhari, Secretary for Law and Justice, and other officials of the ministry also attended the committee.