NA rejects bill seeking right of appeal against judgements of SC larger bench

Updated April 23, 2019

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A view of the Supreme Court building in Islamabad. — AP/File
A view of the Supreme Court building in Islamabad. — AP/File

The National Assembly on Tuesday rejected a bill seeking the review of judgements passed by larger benches of the Supreme Court.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam–Fazl (JUIF) MNA Aliya Kamran, who moved the bill, argued that citizens should have the right to file an appeal against a verdict issued by an SC larger bench.

The bill was opposed by the government, with Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Farogh Naseem wondering how somebody could move against a judgement handed down by a 17-member full bench of the apex court.

"We do not want to make our courts political [and] we should let them perform their duties in the appropriate manner," he said while speaking in the lower house.

Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri then ordered a vote on the bill.

The proposal was rejected after a majority (80) of the MNAs present voted against it and 71 voted in its favour.

Bill for S. Punjab, Bahawalpur provinces sent to committee

Separately, PML-N MNA Rana Sanaullah presented a constitutional amendment bill seeking the creation of Bahawalpur and South Punjab provinces.

Malik Muhammad Amir Dogar of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Syed Naveed Qamar of the PPP said that their parties supported the bill in principle but that they wanted the creation of only one South Punjab province.

However, the members from Bahawalpur, including Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema spoke in support of the creation of a Bahawalpur province.

Dogar said the government would set up the South Punjab Civil Secretariat in the first week of July.

Speaking in support of the bill, Cheema, who belongs to the PML-Q, said: "After 'Takht-i-Lahore', we don't want to now become the servants of 'Takht-i-Multan'."

He said if the government wants to establish a secretariat, it should build two of them. Cheema also announced that his party would introduce a bill for the creation of a Bahawalpur province in the Punjab Assembly.

The PML-N bill was subsequently sent to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice for review.