ISLAMABAD - In a bid to ascertain if the Supreme Court of Pakistan has jurisdiction to overrule Parliament’s decisions, Senators belonging to both sides of isle Tuesday unanimously backed the idea of initiating a comprehensive debate in the House on the powers of the parliament and judiciary.
The decision of holding the much-awaited debate came after the Senators belonging to the ruling PPP once again on Tuesday voiced concern over the conduct of the judges of the apex judiciary, including the chief justice.
It started when speaking on a point of order, Senator Saeed Ghani of PPP questioned if Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had not breached his oath by heading a bench, which was hearing Dr Arsalan-Malik Riaz case.
Senator Ijaz Dhamra also criticised the apex judiciary over the remarks it had passed regarding the role of opposition during the passage of contempt of court act, 2012, saying the remarks were amounted to stir up the opposition.
Zafar Ali Shah of PML-N objected the idea of holding debate saying under the Constitution the parliament could not discuss the conduct of the judges and that the Parliament needed to amend the Constitution of Pakistan if it wanted the apex court judges to not speak on the parliamentary proceedings.
Awami National Party (ANP), which earlier had staged a walkout from the House over the issue of hours-long loadshedding and did not take part in the debate on Presidential address, has already filed motions in both Senate and National Assembly secretariats for debate on the powers of parliament and judiciary.
Chairman Senate Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, the mover of suggestion of holding debate, directed the Senate Secretariat to check out the motion submitted by Zahid Khan of ANP for debate.
The session, which was being chaired by Chairman Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari also concluded the debate on the March 17 address of President Asif Zardari to joint sitting of the Parliament.
It was also agreed that the House would hold debate spanning over two consecutive days - Wednesday and Thursday - over the law and order situation of restive Balochistan province.
The Senators both from treasury and opposition also strongly condemned the ongoing massacre of Muslims in Myanmar and vowed to move a resolution in this regard after taking foreign office on-board.
Speaking on a point of order, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam of PPP pointed out that being the biggest stakeholder, the parliament should get engaged with Election Commission on how to handle the issue of some 15 million people, who had secured CNIS but had died since the introduction of the computerised ID card.
She said that deletion of such names was crucial to make the voter lists transparent and this would be a huge service to democracy. The lawmakers from both sides welcomed the proposal and the chair directed leaders of the house and opposition to look into the issue and also take the member onboard.
Some lawmakers suggested to make it mandatory for the aggrieved families to obtain death certificate of the deceased with his/her CNIC number clearly mentioned on it and also birth certificate of every new born child.