(Islamabad, 9 March 2022) The Senate Law and Justice Committee met under the chairmanship of Senator Syed Ali Zafar and discussed in detail the constitutional amendments related to the role of the parliamentary committee in the appointment of judges. The committee proposed that in article 178 providing for the appointment of judges for Supreme Court the criteria shall be based on seniority cum fitness so that the recent controversy should be laid to rest while the appointment of CJP should remain on seniority alone. Senator Ali Zafar stated that the Suo Motu jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under 184 of the Constitution is an extremely important judicial function as it enabled the court to enforce the fundamental right of citizens but at the same time the right to appeal against the judgement must be provided in accordance with Islamic injunctions.
Accordingly, the committee unanimously proposed that article 184(3) of the Constitution be amended to include the right of appeal therein. The committee also directed that under the constitution in case of violation of code of conduct the judicial commission shall decide the matter within 90 days.
The committee took up the Protection of Parents Bill presented by the Law Minister. All the committee members agreed that the protection of parents is necessary, and parents should have the right to evict an adult child from the house owned by the parent. The Chairman Syed Ali Zafar committee also stated and all agreed that it is the social, moral, ethical responsibility of all children to give shelter to the parents in their home. However, the chairman pointed out to the Secretary Law and Minister that various lacunas in the law require amendments so that the law is in conformity with the requirements of the Constitution it was pointed out the Committee that the law appears to violate the fundamental right of ownership of property in as much as it also applies to the property owned by the children.
The committee accordingly directed the minister to amend the law as it felt that the parent should not be allowed to throw out a child who is a minor nor should the minor be punished with 1-year imprisonment as it would be unconstitutional and badly affect family life. Senator Farooq H. Naek and Kamran Murtaza objected to the powers given to Deputy Commissioner and Police to arrest the children and evict them without course to the courts of law. It was decided that the Minister will bring an amended bill to the committee.
The committee noticed with grave concern that there were no Income Tax and Service Tribunals in the whole of Balochistan and people had to go to Karachi.
Senator Syed Ali Zafar gave a ruling directing the government to establish Public Service and Income Tax Tribunals in Quetta and to also provide the details as to why a federal building housing the federal tribunals cannot be proved in the province.
The Committee also decided to hold a public hearing starting from the 30th of March at Multan, Lahore, Peshawar and Abbottabad to debate, discuss and deliberate upon the issue of creation of new provinces.
Senators Farooq Hamid Naek, Kamran Murtaza, Manzoor Ahmad Kakar attended the meeting while Senators Shahadat Awan, Mohammad Abdul Qadir, Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen participated as a mover. Minister of Law and Justice Farogh Naseem and Secretary Law and Justice were also in attendance.