ISLAMABAD, Nov 19: The National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) has recommended to the president drastic changes in the Local Government Ordinance, including revival of the controversial executive magistracy throughout the country.

Officials privy to a meeting of President Asif Zardari held earlier this month with NRB Chairman Dr Asim Hussain told Dawn that officers of the District Management Group (DMG) would be the biggest beneficiary if the proposal was approved by the president.

Giving details of the proposals, the officials said the Law and Justice Division had recommended that the executive magistracy might be revived through amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure.

“The Government may appoint executive magistrates in each district government in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898,” reads the redrafted section 29A of the Local Government Ordinance 2001, as submitted by the NRB to the president.

Officials say the amendments will be sponsored by the Interior Division because criminal law is its subject under the Rules of Business, 1973.

The NRB's proposal says the government may entrust the tasks of the executive district officer (magistracy) to a suitable officer and confer upon him the powers of the magistrate first class in addition to his own duties.

According to the NRB proposal, the executive magistrates will again get powers to the functions of the Police Department.

The recommendations put forward by the NRB suggest that the executive magistrate shall submit monthly reports to the district and sessions judge regarding institution and disposal of cases in the district as well as quality of police support to inspecting officials during conduct of raids.

The officials said the National Reconstruction Bureau was also contemplating amendments to the Local Government Ordinance 2001 and Police Order 2002 on several other issues which would be shared with the provincial governments separately.

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