ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Thursday rejected two important bills moved by PPP Senator Mian Raza Rabbani with a majority vote — one seeking revival of the time-bound provincial quota in federal jobs that expired in August 2013 and the other for binding the government to place agreements and contracts to be signed with other countries, donors and international monetary organisations before the parliament for ratification.

Article 27 (1) of the Constitution allocates quotas in federal government jobs to the provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Through the bill, Mr Rabbani wanted the period to be extended till 2033. The statement of objectives and reasons of the bill said: “The objective is to provide a cover to the appointments made from August 2013 and reservation of quotas for further recruitment made from August 2013.”

During a meeting of the Senate Standing Comm­ittee on Law and Justice, presided over by its chairman Senator Javed Abbasi, the law secretary opposed the bill citing a judgement of the Federal Shariat Court which had declared the quota un-Islamic.

Through the bill titled the Ratification of Foreign Agreements by Parliament Bill, 2018, Mr Rabbani called upon the government to place an agreement, contract or protocol to be signed with a country, donor or international monetary organisations before both the houses of the parliament to seek approval of its draft within 15 days of its finalisation.

Passes another bill seeking amendments to Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act

Majority of the members was of the view that it was the executive’s prerogative to sign treaties and agreements.

The chairman of the committee talked of a law to bind the government to lay before the parliament the agreements within one month after signing, so that nothing remained secret.

The Senate committee passed a bill seeking to amend the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 2010 and allowing people to donate their organs.

Titled the Transplanta­tion of Human Organs and Tissues (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the proposed law was moved by Senator Mian Mohammad Ateeq Sheikh. It suggests that the computerised national identity card should indicate whether a person is an organ donor.

The bill was passed with consensus by the Senate standing committee on law and justice. Interestingly, the same bill had already been passed by the Senate standing committee on national health services in November 2018.

“The National Database and Registration Authority shall, for issuing National Identity Card, make a provision on front page of its application form to ask for consent for donation of an organ or tissue in case of accidental or brain death of the individual. The column shall also have provision to select any single or a combination of more than one organ or all organs, the individual consents to donate. Names of the organs to be donated shall appear in that column like kidney, liver, pancreas, lungs, heart, intestine or all,” a section of the bill reads.

It says the national identity card may have a section displaying the words “Organ Donor” in red.

The bill says that the monitoring authority, Nadra or any such authority in the field of public health would publicise the importance of organs donation for welfare of humanity from scientific and religious aspects so that the people may contribute through voluntary donation of organs and tissues.

Four government bills — the Legal Aid and Justice Authority Bill, 2020; Superior Courts (Courts Dress and Mode of Address) Order (Repeal) Bill, 2020; Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights Bill, 2020; and Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2018 — were discussed in the meeting. The Legal Aid and Justice Authority Bill, 2020 was passed after including the provision of inclusion of two members of parliament, one from each house, in the board of the authority.

The three other bills were passed without any amendment.

Consideration of another bills seeking to amend articles 213 and 218 of the constitution and moved by Senator retired Gen Abdul Qayyum was deferred for next meeting.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2020