ISLAMABAD: Amid strong protests by lawmakers against handing over the National Assembly proceedings’ record to the apex court, the Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Wednesday hinted at handing over the matter of submitting the record to the top court to a panel tasked to investigate ex-chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar’s son’s controversial audio.

As the NA session resumed with Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in the chair, the lawmakers from both sides of the aisle once again strongly protested against the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s orders to the National Assembly for submitting the record of proceedings related to a bill.

Ashraf said that a committee of the house already formed to investigate the audio leak involving the son of ex-chief justice Saqib Nisar, could also look into the issue of handing over the house proceedings’ record to the apex court if the lawmakers agree upon it.

The apex court had sought the house proceedings regarding the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023, which seeks to regulate the powers of the chief justice and devolve them to a committee.

An eight-member bench of the top court, which is currently hearing the petitions against the controversial law had a day earlier, directed Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan to produce copies of the proceedings of the standing committee and the house “to understand the concerns and views of the lawmakers while passing the bill”.

The NA speaker told the house that he would not compromise on the supremacy of the parliament, adding there should be no doubt that the house is supreme when it comes to the country’s matters.

The MPs expressed concerns against the apex court’s orders a day earlier, as well and in an apparent tit-for-tat move, approved the formation of a committee to probe the alleged leak of a conversation between former chief justice Saqib Nisar’s son and another person, where the former purportedly demanded Rs12 million for a party ticket in the Punjab Assembly elections.

Speaking in the house, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said two institutions — the parliament and the Supreme Court — have locked horns.

In an obvious reference to the apex court’s infighting, he said that there seems to be a difference of opinion between the people who interpret the Constitution.

He proposed to form a committee which would analyse the results of orders by ex-chief justice of Pakistan Muhammad Munir and others.

“We are at a crucial juncture of history. We respect the courts, but we are against courts breaching their constitutional limits,” he said, noting that when the constitution was violated in the past, judges were the ones who allowed it.

He reminded the courts that more than 400,000 cases were pending and advised them to come face-to-face with the parliament after they are done wrapping up the cases. He also recommended giving the assembly the status of a committee and summoning Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial for questioning.

Another PML-N stalwart and ex-premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the house’s record cannot be handed over to the top court without informing the NA members, adding the matter should be taken seriously.

“It’s is a very serious issue and the house is supreme and the creator of the Supreme Court,” he added.

Noor Alam Khan, a dissident Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA who is also chairman Public Accounts Committee (PAC), noted that an audit of the Supreme Court has not been conducted in at least a decade.

“We’ve summoned the Supreme Court’s principal accounting officer (the registrar SC) and we’ve also sought the details of Mohmand Dam Fund,” he said, saying the PAC committee has sought the details of judges’ salaries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


Comments are closed.

Parvez May 04, 2023 11:11am
Our parliamentarians noise and buster does not come from within because they are hollow and divided......little do they realise that they are doing themselves PERMANENT harm.
thumb_up Recommended (0)