Islamabad: The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice, unanimously, passed the “National Security Council (Amendment) Bill, 2023”, seeking to include the leader of the opposition in the Senate beside the National Assembly in the constitution of the National Security Council.

A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice was held on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Senator Syed Ali Zafar.

The committee, unanimously, passed the “National Security Council (Amendment) Bill, 2023”, introduced by Senator Shahadat Awan, in the Senate in its sitting held on 6th November 2023.

Senate body passes three bills

The bill seeks to include the leader of the opposition in the Senate beside the National Assembly in the constitution of the National Security Council.

Further, the Service Tribunals (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (Amendment of Section 3), introduced by Senator Shahadat Awan, in the Senate in its sitting held on 15 January 2024 was also passed giving powers to the Chief Justice of Pakistan in appointments of the chairman and members of the Service Tribunal.

However, after deliberation, both the bills; The Service Tribunals (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (Amendment of Section 4), and the General Clauses (Amendment) Bill, 2024, introduced by Senator Shahadat Awan, in the Senate in its sitting held on 1 January 2024 was withdrawn by the mover.

Furthermore, “The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2023”, (Amendment of Article 84), introduced by Senator Sania Nishtar, in the Senate sitting held on 7th August 2023 was deferred by the Chairman Committee Senator Syed Ali Zafar for further deliberation. Senator Sania Nishter expressed displeasure on the amendments proposed by the ministry specifically in terms of its language stating that fundamental change has been made in the language which distorts the spirit of the amendment. She said that such control of the executive is undemocratic and is not called for. The bill was deferred for further deliberation.

Similarly, both the bills on the allocation of seats for the non-Muslims from each province through the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2024 (Amendment of Article 51), introduced by Senator Kauda Babar, Senator Manzoor Ahmed, Senator Naseebullah Bazai, Senator Sana Jamali, and Senator Danesh Kumar, and the enhancement of seats in the Provincial Assembly for Balochistan through the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2024“ (Amendment of Article 106), introduced by Senator Kauda Babar, Senator Manzoor Ahmed, Senator Naseebullah Bazai, Senator Sana Jamali, and Senator Danesh Kumar, in the Senate in its sitting held on 1st January 2024 were also deferred.

The committee deliberated that although the proposition that one minority seat may be allocated from each province in Article 51 of the constitution seems plausible on the basis of new population results yet the enhancement of seats for the Provincial Assembly for Balochistan needs further probe with respect to area and district constituency and requires to redefine the seats enhancement. The bills were deferred for further deliberation.

The meeting was attended by senators, Danesh Kumar, Farooq Hamid Naek, Kamran Murtaza, Sania Nishter, and Shahadat Awan. Representatives of the Ministry of Law and Justice were also in attendance.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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