ISLAMABAD: A joint-sitting of the Parliament, Monday, passed, “The National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2023”, after president refused to give his assent, as the government wants to empower the body’s chairman.
The joint-sitting of the Parliament passed as many as eight bills including “The National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2023, The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues (Amendment) Bill, 2021, The Trained Paramedical Staff Facility Bill, 2019, The Day Care Centres Bill, 2019, The Maternity and Paternity Leave Bill, 2020, The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022, The Limitation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and The Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2022.”
The National Assembly and the Senate have passed, “The National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2023” in April, but the president — in the same month — returned the bill to the Parliament and advised the lawmakers that the issue is under hearing and to “reconsider” the amendments. The president sent the bill back to the Parliament under Article 75(1)(b) of the Constitution, saying that earlier amendments to the accountability laws were already pending before the Supreme Court — after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan challenged earlier amendments.
According to clause 4 of the bill, “(a) all pending inquiries, required to be transferred under sub-section (3), shall be examined by the Chairman. If the Chairman is satisfied that no case is made out against an accused, the inquiry shall be closed after recording reasons and where the chairman is of the opinion that prima facie case is made out against an accused under any other law for the time being in force, he shall refer the matter to the relevant agency, authority or department, as the case may be;(b) all investigations, required to be transferred under sub-section (3), shall be examined by the Chairman.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023