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President Asif Zardari. — Photo by Reuters

KARACHI: President Asif Zardari on Saturday signed the 19th Amendment Bill, making it a part of the Constitution.

Before being sent to the president for formal assent, the amendment bill was passed unanimously by the Senate, whereas, the National Assembly passed it with a two-thirds majority.

The bill was drafted by the 26-member Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms, which also authored the landmark 18th Amendment that introduced a parliamentary role in top judicial appointments and was unanimously adopted by both houses of parliament in April.

The 19th Amendment Bill, while envisaging a new system for appointments in the superior courts, aims at neutralising a probable source of conflict between the judiciary and the executive.

The amendment also raises the number of senior judges as members of the Judicial Commission to four.

Under the amendment, recommendations for the appointments of ad hoc judges in the superior courts will be made by the Chief Justice of Pakistan in consultation with the Judicial Commission.

Moreover, the bill proposes that in case of the National Assembly’s dissolution, members of the parliamentary committee will be from the Senate only.