ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf has taken notice of PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui’s missing bill and sought details from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA). Senator Siddiqui’s bill had been missing for the past 14 months after the approval of the Parliament. Speaker NA has sought immediate clarification from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs through the National Assembly Secretariat over the missing Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill.
It may be recalled that Senator Siddiqui, as a private member, had presented the bill in the Senate in 2022, and it was unanimously passed by the Upper House on May 23 the same year. The bill came to the National Assembly on June 8, 2022, and got approved without any amendment. After approval from both the Houses, the bill was sent for the President’s assent through the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs on June 20, 2022, as required under Article 75 of the Constitution. However, since June 20 till date, the bill is not traceable. The Presidency had issued a clarification in August last year, that the President had not received this bill. Meanwhile, Senator Siddiqui kept raising his voice about his lost bill.
Through an amendment in the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, the officers of the district administration of Islamabad were deprived of judicial powers as per requirement of the constitution. On August 10 this year, Senator Irfan Siddiqui drew attention to this important issue in a letter addressed to Speaker National Assembly, saying that “As the custodian of the Parliament, it is your primary responsibility to protect the rights of the Parliament and its members. I am sure that elements involved in sabotaging the supremacy of Parliament must be taken to task”. Senator Siddiqui also requested the Speaker to send the said bill once again for Presidential assent. The letter of Additional Secretary (Legal) NA, received by Senator Siddiqui, says that as directed by the Speaker, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has been inquired about the said bill. The ministry has been asked to inform this Secretariat NA about the status of the subject bill and reasons of delay in assenting or otherwise return it back to this to the Secretariat well in time, the letter adds.