ISLAMABAD: The process of a no-trust motion, which may lead to removal of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani from his post, commenced on Tuesday with the Senate secretariat circulating a notice about the motion among the members of the house.
Mr Sanjrani, who will not be able to chair the coming session, approved circulation of the notice — a week after the no-trust motion and a requisition for summoning the session were submitted by the opposition.
Sources told Dawn that the session would be convened next week, with the no-trust motions against Mr Sanjrani and Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala on the agenda.
Senators from the opposition had submitted the no-trust motion against Mr Sanjrani to the Senate secretariat on July 9. The ruling coalition hit back with a similar motion against the deputy chairman on July 12.
The opposition has nominated National Party chief Mir Hasil Bizenjo as its joint candidate for the post of chairman.
The situation is interesting as the opposition with a clear majority is confident that it would remove Mr Sanjrani. On the other hand, the PTI is expressing optimism about defeating the motion against Mr Sanjrani with the help of its coalition partners and independents and some members of the opposition unhappy with the move.
The first clause of Rule 12 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate says not less than one-fourth of the total membership of the house may give to the secretary a notice of a motion seeking permission to move a resolution for removal from office of the chairman or the deputy chairman and the secretary shall forthwith circulate the notice among the members.
According to clause 2, after the notice has been received, the Senate will not be adjourned to a date later than seven clear days excluding closed holidays. Under clause 3, the motion for permission to move the resolution will be entered in the agenda for the first working day after the expiry of seven days from the date of the receipt of the notice. Clause 4 says no other item will be included in the agenda of the session.
Under clause 5, the chairman or the deputy chairman will not preside over a session in which a resolution for his removal is fixed for consideration. Under clause 6, the presiding officer will call upon the first available member on the list of movers to move the motion. Under clause 7, immediately after the motion has been moved, the presiding officer will ask the members in favour of the permission for moving the resolution to rise in their seats and, if at least one-fourth of the total membership of the Senate does not so rise, he will declare that the member does not have the permission of the Senate or, if such membership so rises, he will call upon the member concerned to move the resolution.
Under clause 8, except with permission of the presiding officer, a member shall not speak on the resolution for more than 15 minutes but the mover of the resolution and the chairman or the deputy chairman, against whom the resolution has been moved, may speak for 30 minutes or such longer time as the presiding officer may permit. Under clause 9, the Senate will not be adjourned until the motion for permission is disposed of or, if permission is granted, the resolution has been voted upon.
Under clause 10, voting on the resolution will be conducted by secret ballot. Under clause 11, the Senate will not be prorogued until the motion has been disposed of or, if leave is granted, the resolution has been voted upon. Under the final clause, the chairman or, as the case may be, deputy chairman will stand removed from his office on the resolution being passed by a majority of the total membership of the Senate.
Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2019