ISLAMABAD: Despite a stay order of the Supreme Court and the ongoing tussle between parliament and the judiciary, Upper House of the Parliament on Friday passed a crucial bill regarding the right to appeal in the suo motu cases.
The bill sailed through the Senate days after the National Assembly had adopted it via a supplementary agenda.
The bill, titled the Supreme Court (Review of Judgements and Orders) Bill, 2023, was tabled by PML-N’s Irfan Siddiqui and was passed by a majority of 32 votes. The bill was presented amid opposition by the PTI senators, who chanted slogans of “disrespect of courts unacceptable” and tore its copies.
The proposed Supreme Court Review of Judgments and Orders Bill 2023, aims at facilitating and strengthening the Supreme Court in the exercise of its powers to review its judgments and orders.
Speaking in favour of the bill, Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar briefly said that the legislation neither disrespected the Parliament nor the courts. He explained that the bill encompassed four sections which were in line with Article 188 of the Constitution.
“Parliament won’t digress from it by an inch and it won’t step back from it as well,” Tarar added.
He claimed the law empowers the Supreme Court subject to the provision of any Act of Majlis-e-Shoora and any rules made by the Supreme Court, to review any judgment pronounced or any order made by it. He said the latest legislation is procedural in nature.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition Dr Shahzad Waseem said that the government was trying to hide behind the Parliament. “Stop playing with the Constitution,” he said.
“Was the Parliament not supreme when the Qasim Suri’s ruling was thrown out?” he asked. “Where were these people back then?”
Slamming the coalition leaders for disrespecting the courts, Waseem said, “Pakistan is functioning without any form of government today.” He also questioned how the budget could be passed when “there are no functioning governments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab”.
“These are just techniques to run away from elections,” he told the House.
The PTI senator stated that party chairman Imran Khan was appearing before courts despite being shot. “There is this prime minister before you and then there is the one who is sitting abroad today.”
He then called on the government to show due respect to the judiciary. “You will have to accept and implement the Supreme Court’s order on elections no matter what,” Wasim added.
‘Books of O-level confiscated’
Meanwhile, taking the floor, Minister for Education Rana Tanveer Hussain said that the books of O-level carrying objectionable material have been confiscated.
He assured that in future A and O level books will be properly scrutinized.
The Senate also passed The Private Power and Infrastructure Board Amendment Bill, 2023 and the Kalam Bibi International Women Institute, Bannu Bill 2023.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar presented a report of the parliamentary committee regarding examining the amendments proposed by the Election Commission of Pakistan in the Elections Act, 2017.
The Senate today passed a resolution expressing deep grief and sorrow over the death of former Senator Enver Baig.
The resolution moved by Minister of State for Law Shahadat Awan noted that the late Senator was a champion of human rights, diversity and equality. It pointed out that Enver Baig was a strong supporter of immigration reforms and worked to create policies that make it easier for immigrants to settle abroad.
Extending condolences to the bereaved family, the resolution said that services rendered by the late senator would be long remembered.
At the outset, the House offered fateha for the departed soul of former Senator Enver Baig as well as those who recently martyred in recent acts of terrorism in the country.
“I think India has to come out of this groove that we will not sit until and unless Pakistan gives up terrorism. Pakistan has fought terrorism, Pakistan is in the process of defeating extremism and terrorism. As I said, we have suffered. So let’s not pick that as an excuse and let things simmer.”