NA conditions MNAs’ arrest with Speaker’s approval

Passes amendment barring any arrest within assembly precincts

The National Assembly on Thursday adopted amendments in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the House, making the approval of Speaker mandatory before arresting any member of the House and disallowing such arrest within the precincts of the Assembly.

Under the amendments, approval of the Speaker will be required before the arrest and detention of a member on a criminal charge, and no member will be arrested within the precincts of the Assembly. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbassi moved an amendment seeking substitution of rule 103 of the Rules of Procedure with the following: “Approval of the Speaker before arrest, detention, etc., of a member: When a member has to be arrested on a criminal charge or for a criminal offence or has to be detained under an executive order, the committing judge, magistrate or executive authority, as the case may be, shall immediately seek approval of the Speaker indicating the reasons for the arrest or detention, as the case may be, and after such arrest, detention or when a member is sentenced to imprisonment by a court of law, the committing judge, magistrate or executive authority, as the case may be shall intimate the place of detention or imprisonment of the member in the appropriate form set out in the Fourth Schedule”.

Earlier, only intimation was made to the Speaker by Magistrate for arrest or detention, of a member while approval of the Speaker would be required to arrest any MNA following the approval of this amendment. Likewise, another amendment in Rule 106 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the National House has been made following which no member shall be arrested within the precincts of the Assembly. The previous Rule 106 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the National House, 2007 stated that no member shall be arrested within the precincts of the Assembly without permission of the Speaker.

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