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Event Title: Senator Syed Ali Zafar, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice presiding over a Meeting of the Committee at Parliament House Islamabad

Event Date: 2023-08-31

Senator Syed Ali Zafar deferred voting on Constitutional Amendment Bills till the next meeting, comments awaited by the Provincial Governments

The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice met on Thursday under the chairmanship of Senator Syed Ali Zafar here at the Parliament House

Important legislation pertaining to Provincial Governments and cocurrent status of its laws were discussed at length.

Amendment in article 142  proposed by Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad with the objective to bring uniformity in criminal laws throughout Pakistan. He said that criminal law , criminal procedure should remain solely with the Federal Government to make laws. However, Senator Kamran Murtaza opposed the amendment, stating that this intends to backroll the 18th Amendment. Senator Syed Ali Zafar said that Article 143 addresses the conflict of common law between federation and the provinces wherein such conflict when occurs the law of federation prevails. However, the Chairman deferred the matter and sought detailed written comments from the ministry and the provincial governments. While, the Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs opposed the matter.

Similarly, Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed proposed insertion of Article 100A and Article 140A in the constitution amendment bill with the aim of provision of Acting Attorney General and Acting Advocate General, so that the work of the offices would not be affected in case of absence. The Chair deferred the voting on the proposed amendment for written comments from the law division and Provincial governments.

Matter of Local Bodies Election proposed by Senator Sania Nishtar through substitution of Article 140A and insertion of Sixth Schedule in the Constitution Amendment Bill,2023 was also discussed. However, the matter was yet again deferred with the direction to deliberate thoroughly on the response by the Provincial governments. Senator Sania Nishtar presented that the 18th Amendment obligates each province to establish local government system and devolve political,administrative and financial responsibilities to the local representatives.

While discussing the Constitutional Amendment of Article 84 introduced by Senator Sania Nishtar with the objective to insert the expression "Supplementary Budget Statement shall require prior approval of National Assembly". The Chair inquired about the difference between the prior and subsequent amendment and also elaborated on the definition of Supplementary Budget Statement. The Ministry apprised that the proposed amendment is more of procedural natural and requires administrative guidance. However, the Chairman summoned the Secretary Finance Division to brief the committee on the matter concerned.

The meeting was attended by Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad, Senator Kamran Murtaza, Senator Sania Nishtar and other senior officers of Law Division were also in attendance.