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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) leader, Rana Tanveer Hussain, the chairman Public Accounts Committee (PAC), on Tuesday approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for issuance of production orders of Khawaja Asif.

A single bench of Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the petition of Rana Tanveer filed through advocates, Barrister Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha and Barrister Omer Azad Malik.

In the petition, he cited the Speaker National Assembly and the Secretary NA as respondents, and requested the court to direct the secretary to issue production orders of Khawaja Asif, MNA, for attending the coming meetings of the PAC.

The petitioner stated that he was a member of the National Assembly and was presently serving as the chairman of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

He adopted that the Rule 108(1) of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of National Assembly, 2007 framed under Article 67 of the Constitution, empowered the NA speaker, or the chairman of any Standing Committee of the National Assembly to summon a member in custody on the charge of a non-bailable offence to attend a sitting or sittings of the assembly or meeting of a committee of which he was a member, if he considered his presence necessary.

Rana Tanveer maintained that the powers given to the chairman of a Standing Committee of the National Assembly, under the Rule 108(1) of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of National Assembly, 2007, were absolute, and at the complete discretion of the chairman, hence making it an inviolable privilege that only he could enjoy, and nobody else infringed.

He continued that the Rule 108(2) of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of National Assembly, 2007, provided that every production order issued by the speaker of the National Assembly, or by any of the chairmen of the standing committees of the National Assembly, shall be signed by the secretary of the National Assembly, and after which the signed production order shall, without any hesitation, be sent to the authorities under whose custody was the member of the National Assembly, and/or Standing Committee.

The petitioner contended that the wording and sentence structure of the Rule 108(2) of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of National Assembly, 2007, made it aptly clear and unambiguous that the signature of the secretary of the National Assembly of Pakistan was a formality introduced in the Rules merely for facilitation and administrative purposes, and not to empower the secretary with a certain kind of discretion to decide as to whether the production order ought to be signed or not.

Therefore, he prayed before the court to declare that the acts/omissions of the secretary NA of not complying with the notices, and letters of the petitioner to “sign and forward the Production Orders of Khawaja Muhammad Asif, MNA” as illegal, unlawful, against the constitutional provisions, and the Rules of Business, 2007.

He further requested the court to declare that the chairman Standing Committee had the power to summon any incarcerated member of his/her committee to attend a sitting of a meeting of the Committee, if he/she considered his/her presence necessary, and the secretary was bound to sign and forward the production orders.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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