Senate passes contempt of parliament bill

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After the National Assembly, the contempt of parliament bill was also passed in the Senate yesterday, where there was a lot of heat between senators of PPP and Jamaat-e-Islami on the issue of the recently held mayoral elections in Karachi.

The ‘Contempt of Parliament Bill’, which was passed by the National Assembly in May this year, was presented as a supplementary agenda, now the proposed law will be sent to the President for his assent so that it can be made an Act of Parliament.

The bill was introduced by four senators from Balochistan and one from Punjab.

Soon after the bill came up in the House, Minister of State for Law Shahadat Awan told the chairman that the National Assembly had already passed the bill unanimously and it should be put to vote without sending it to the concerned standing committee.

The bill comes at a time when parliament and the judiciary are engaged in a battle for supremacy, with lawmakers accusing the judiciary of interfering in parliament’s jurisdiction and endorsing military regimes in the past.

Under the proposed law, the contempt of parliament committee constituted by the Speaker of the National Assembly will consist of five members, out of which three will be from the National Assembly and two from the Senate.

The proposed law empowers the speaker to constitute a contempt of parliament committee within 30 days of the enactment of the Act.

The names of two members each from the National Assembly and the Senate will be proposed by the Leader of the Opposition and the Parliamentary Leader in both the Houses, while one member of the National Assembly will be nominated by the Speaker of the Assembly.