Letter asks speaker to identify culprits behind the act.
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Irfan Siddiqui Thursday demanded an inquiry into how a bill, seeking separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive, had gone missing since last 14 months after approval by both houses of the Parliament.
“This is a mockery of the legislative process,” Senator Siddiqui said in a letter sent to Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervez Ashraf. The Senator asked the speaker to order an inquiry on how a bill that was approved by both houses of the parliament had gone missing when sent to the President for his ceremonial assent. The letter also asked the speaker to identify the culprits behind the act. The PML-N leader said that the NA speaker still held the constitutional position despite the fact that the assembly had been dissolved after completion of its term. “It has been 14 months that there is no clue about the whereabouts of the bill,” he said while referring to the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
Senator Siddiqui, who himself was the mover of the bill, asked the speaker to once again send the bill to the president for assent. Prepared by Senator Siddiqui, the bill pertains to the separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary. The Senate unanimously passed the bill on May 23, 2022 and then the National Assembly it on June 8, 2022. On June 21 last year, it was then sent to the PM Office to be forwarded to the President for his formal approval – a condition to become an Act of the parliament. According to the official procedure, the secretariats of the National Assembly and the Senate send a bill after passage by both the houses to the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs which then sends it to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. The Prime Minister’s office transmits the bill to the Presidency for the assent of the President. But the bill has gone missing ever since it was forwarded to the president, Senator Siddiqui claimed. The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2022 bill sought separation of judiciary from the executive through substitution of the special judicial magistrates with judicial magistrates designated for trials of petty crimes in summary trials.