KARACHI - Sindh Civil Servants (Amendments) Bill 2013, for providing legal cover to out-of-turn promotions and appointments of police officers, was passed in the Sindh Assembly on Thursday amid Opposition’s uproar and walk-out of the House after tearing the copies of the bill and chanting slogans.
The House, which met at 10am against schedule time of 9.30am with Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza in the chair, only nine lawmakers of 168 strength of the Assembly were present, showing less attendance than one fifth (42) of total members required for quorum.
After question-hour and heated debate on adjournment motion, when Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro rose to introduce the Sindh Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill 2013, Arif Mustafa Jatoi of National Peoples Party from opposition benches opposed the introduction of bill. He argued that the issue of the out-of-turn promotions of officers was pending with the Supreme Court of Pakistan
Quoting the certain articles of the constitution, opposition MPA Jatoi said claimed that taking up the bill for introduction or legislation would be contempt of court as constitutional petitions on his matter already being heard by the apex court.
Opposition MPA Arif Jatoi requested the chair not to allow the bill for introduction and consideration as it would be tantamount to the contempt of the apex court, adding that the Supreme Court of Pakistan would take this case today on Thursday.
Opposition MPA questioned haste behind the introduction and passing the bill to give legal cover to out of turn promotions of some blue eyed police officers, alleging that reason of hurry of taking up the bill because two brothers of Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro were also given out of turn promotions.
Meanwhile, PML-F’s parliamentary leader Jam Madad Ali while opposing the bill advised the government to send the bill to the standing committee concerned for further consideration or deferred for few days until any verdict come from Supreme Court on the matter.
Rejecting the arguments of the opposition lawmakers, Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro nobody can stop legislature of making legislation. He said that anyone can challenge the bill; even members opposing the law in assembly can go in court.
MQM’s parliamentary leader Syed Sardar Ahmed said that national or provincial assembly could not stopped from making legislation until the court issue stay-order on subject matter, adding that contempt of court cannot be issued to the assembly.
PML-F’s Sheharyar Mahar alleged that this bill is being brought to give legal cover to the out-of-turn promotions to two brothers of the law minister.
The remarks of the opposition MPA caused criticism from the PPP lawmakers and ministers. Soomro said that MPA Sheharyar Mahar’s father recruited only Mahars in the railway when he was state minister. He said that my brothers passed Sindh Public Commission in 1989 but they were deprived of promotions due to political victimisation but now the Sindh High Court has given verdict in their favour.
When the law minister started reading clauses for legislation, the opposition MPAs rose on their seats, while tearing the copies of the bills chanted the slogans of shame-shame and black law not acceptable.
The opposition MPAs from PML-F and NPP walked out of the house in protest and did not return back in the house, while sole member of ANP MPA Amanullah Mehsoon, who sits on opposition benches, did not support his protesting colleagues and remained seated in the house.
In absence of the opposition MPAs, the house passed the Sindh Civil Servants (Amendment) bill 2013 with majority vote, which aimed to legal cover to the out of promotions and appointments of the police officers who risked their lives and exhibited exceptional acts of gallantry in the line of duty.
In absence of opposition, the government members also passed another bill, ‘Sindh High Density Development Board (Amendment) Bill 2011’, unanimously.
The bill aimed participation of representatives of professional bodies and stakeholders having expertise in the planning and designing of housing schemes, for creation of effective mechanism in high-rise building.
While, introduction and consideration of other two bills was deferred due to lack of time.
Earlier, house also witnessed heated debate and pandemonium during debate on admissibility on an adjournment motion MPA Arif Mustafa Jatoi of NPP from opposition benches.
Arif Jatoi said that he submitted uplift scheme of electricity facility for nine villages. When his party was part of ruling coalition, the CM approved the scheme but just quitting of government by his party, the CM issued orders that schemes approved on recommendations of NPP lawmakers is considered cancelled. With cancellation of his schemes, he termed that government is engaging in blatant and unprecedented political and economic victimization of the poor people of Sindh by denying them their basic rights to civic amenities like electricity, water, gas and employment.
Opposing the adjournment motion of Jatoi, Minister for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah said that present government provided over Rs5 billion to SSGC for provision of gas facility to villages, besides Rs8 billion provided for electricity facility, under which over four thousands villages have got facility in five years.
But Jatoi remained stick on his point and went emotionally, saying that his constituency people being victimized by the government, if government wanted to arrest him come and so do it now.
Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durani said that opposition member is speaking lie as government not stopped the uplift scheme of any member.
The chair said that mover of the adjournment motion has included more than one issues, so it does not fit with the rules of the procedure, disposed off the matter and said that it could not be taken up for the debate in the house. Earlier, the acting speaker Shehla Raza administered oath to four newly-elected MPAs belonging to MQM, who won the provincial assembly seats unopposed.