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ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Monday unanimously passed the Contempt of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) Bill 2023, a private bill that empowers the parliament and its relevant committees to initiate action against contempt— including issuance of arrest warrants— up to six-month imprisonment, and, or, imposition of fine of up to one million rupees on the “contemnor.”

The bill has already been passed by the National Assembly.

The bill was moved in the Senate in the supplementary agenda on the maiden day of the 331st session.

Kauda Babar, Naseebullah Bazai and others are the joint movers of the bill.

Babar presented the bill in the sitting presided over by Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani.

After the bill was moved in the house, the chair asked the treasury benches whether the bill be referred to the relevant standing committee.

State Law Minister Shahadat Awan urged the chairman to allow the presentation of the bill forthwith.

“This bill has already been passed by the National Assembly and all requirements related to this legislative draft have been fulfilled. There’s no need to refer it to the committee,” he said.

Sanjrani then allowed the presentation of the bill –that was passed by the house unanimously.

The Section 5(1) of the Contempt of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) Bill 2023 provides for the formation of Contempt Committee by the speaker National Assembly, having representation from both house; Senate and NA, to take on the contempt of the Parliament.

The Section 6(1) of this bill empowers this committee to summon any person on the recommendation of the Privilege Committee in connection.

The Section 6(3) of the bill empowers the chairman of the Contempt Committee to issue arrest warrant of any person should they fail to appear before the committee.

The bill’s Section 9 provides that whoever commits contempt shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one million rupees or with both.

“…there is a need to frame law providing for punitive measures against persons who are reluctant to comply with the directions of a house of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or a committee thereof.

This bill aims at condemning and awarding punishment for the actions that account for breach of the sovereignty and integrity of the prestigious house of the Majlis-e- Shoora (Parliament) in any form or shade,” reads the bill’s statement of objects and reasons. Meanwhile, the house passed seven other bills; Horizon University Bill 2023, National University for Security Sciences Islamabad Bill 2022, NFC Institute of Engineering and Technology Multan (Amendment) Bill 2023, Pakistan Institute of Management, Sciences and Technology Bill 2023, Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill 2023, Pakistan Nursing Council (Amendment) Bill 2023 and Trade Organisations (Amendment) Bill 2022. The house was adjourned till today (Tuesday).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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