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Where did the Parliament bill get lost?

by Bilal Ghauri
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Bilal Ghauri

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar considers the mention of missing persons as a conspiracy against the country, but the fact is that only people are no longer missing in the country, columns published in newspapers, comments made on social media and even bills passed by parliament are lost and no one is aware of it. Mr. Irfan Siddiqui, in his column, mentioned the “Bermuda Takun” of the “Sea of Justice”, but he may have forgotten to mention the mysterious triangle where the Bill to amend the Criminal Law was lost. So this responsibility has fallen on my shoulders.
On July 26, 2019, Irfan Siddiqui was arrested in a bogus tenancy case during the tenure of former Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and imprisoned in kasuri mill of Adiala Jail.In fact, Section 144 was issued by the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad regarding tenancy, in violation of which Irfan Siddiqui was detained as if a dangerous terrorist was being detained. However, Mr. Irfan Siddiqui was handcuffed and presented before the Assistant Commissioner. Despite the strong arguments of the lawyers, instead of dismissing the case or releasing it on bail, the woman assistant commissioner issued an order to send her to jail on a 14-day judicial remand. Under the criminal laws framed during the British rules, the Deputy Commissioner issued the Code of Conduct for Tenancy as a District Magistrate, while the officer under him i.e. assistant commissioner passed this decision using the powers of judicial magistrate. Therefore, after going through this ordeal, Mr. Irfan Siddiqui realized that the administration has been given the match in the hands of the monkey by giving judicial powers.
Article 175(3) of the Constitution of Pakistan made it clear that the judiciary would be separated from the administration within a period of three years after the constitution came into force. If this could not be done, then the time was extended from 3 years to 14 years. During the tenure of General Zia-ul-Haq, in 1987, when this extended period also ended, the practice of making serving judges of the higher judiciary federal law secretary had to be abolished. Later, legislation was enacted to separate the administration from the judiciary in the four provinces and the judicial powers of the deputy commissioner or assistant commissioner were withdrawn. But the situation remained the same in the federal capital Islamabad. Even today, representatives of the most powerful bureaucracy retain administrative powers as well as judicial powers. When Irfan Siddiqui was elected as a member of the Upper House, he consulted Senator Raza Rabbani, Farooq Naik, Azam Nazir Tarar and other colleagues and expressed his intention to change the Code of Criminal Procedure in public interest.
After going through all the stages, in January 2022, he introduced a bill in the Senate as a private member titled “The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act 2022”. The amendment bill recommended the removal of judicial powers vested in the administration. Federal Minister Ali Muhammad Khan said that the government has no objection to this bill, but it would be better to refer the bill to the concerned committee for further consideration. Therefore, the Chairman Senate referred the bill to the Committee on Interior Affairs. Pti Senator Mohsin Aziz was the chairman of the committee. There was a lot of discussion here as well. The administration of Islamabad was called and their opinion was taken. The Deputy Commissioner on whose order Irfan Siddiqui was arrested also appeared. Sheikh Rasheed, who was the federal interior minister, came to the meeting of the committee and expressed his position. In short, the committee endorsed
On May 23, 2022, the bill was passed by the Senate. On June 8, the bill was unanimously passed by the National Assembly. According to the constitution, it is the responsibility of the Speaker of the National Assembly to send this bill to the Presidency and the Prime Minister’s Office has no role in it, but the tradition is that from the House from which the bill is passed, the Prime Minister is sent to the Presidency. Therefore, on June 21, 2022, this bill was sent to the President for ratification. What happened after that? It’s a mystery. In August 2022, the Presidency clarified that no such bill had been received.
It was not an ordinary letter or a minor correspondence, it was a draft law passed by the most trusted and holy house of the country. If such an incident had come to light in any other country, there would have been a stir, but no one’s privilege was hurt here. Speaker National Assembly or Prime Minister So the copy of this amendment bill passed by both houses would have been sent back to the Presidency, but like the missing persons, this missing bill was also treated with ignorance and arrogance. When the National Assembly was dissolved, Senator Irfan Siddiqui once again gave a decade and wrote a letter to the Speaker demanding to trace the bill, which has been missing for 14 months. Remember, the same House passed the contempt of parliament law on the way. Can there be a greater insult, humiliation and insult to Parliament than the most powerful functionaries of the bureaucracy forcibly disappearing the bill passed by the Legislative Assembly? Where the legacy of parliament is lost and the elected public representatives are silent by compromising the situation instead of filing a missing report, how meaningless and hollow the slogan of respect for the vote feels.

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