PPP bill seeks changes to PA rules of procedure

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has submitted a bill in the Punjab Assembly secretariat for empowering the Speaker to issue production orders of a provincial assembly member detained by any court of law.

The bill seeking amendment to the Rules of Procedure governing the House has been submitted by PPP’s parliamentary leader Syed Hassan Murtaza carrying his and four other party MPAs’ signs.

The bill reads: “79-A(1) — The Speaker, on the written request of the Member in custody or on his behalf by the respective Parliamentary Party Leader, may summon a member to attend a sitting or sittings of the Assembly or meeting of a Committee of which he is a member.

“(2) — On a Production Order, signed by the Secretary or by any other officer authorized in this behalf, addressed to the Government of the Province where the member is held in custody, or to the authority concerned, the Provincial government or such authority shall cause the member in custody to be produced before the Sergeant-at-Arms, who shall, after the conclusion of the sitting or the meeting, deliver the member into the custody of the Provincial Government or other authority concerned.

He says the National Assembly as well as all the provincial assemblies except Punjab have rules authorizing the speaker of the relevant house to issue production orders for a member in custody of law-enforcement agencies and/or courts for ensuring his/her presence in the assembly session.

“As the proviso was missing in the Punjab Assembly’s Rules of Procedure, we’ve made an attempt to remove this anomaly.”

He says the PPP has always been raising its voice for supremacy of parliament and elected houses. He hopes that particularly the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will lend its support to the bill as it has been making abortive attempts in the house to convince Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi to issue production orders for its MPA Khwaja Salman Rafiq taken into custody by NAB two days ago.

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2018

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