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Senate passes contempt of court bill in a rush

July 11, 2012


A session of the Senate in progress. — Photo by APP

ISLAMABAD: As a possible shield against zealous judicial forays, the PPP-led Federal Government on Wednesday rushed through the Senate also, the contempt of court bill, DawnNews reported.

President Asif Ali Zardari is expected to sign the bill later tonight for making it into law.

The bill was adopted by the National Assembly on Monday.

The upper house of the parliament took only five minutes to pass the bill while the lower house took two hours.

Putting aside reservations of its own senators, Raza Rabbani and Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, the Pakistan People’s Party government seemed in a hurry to make the bill a law before scheduled hearing of NRO implementation case in the Supreme Court tomorrow on July 12.

The main opposition party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) recorded their protest by staging a walkout from the session before proposing few recommendations regarding the bill, which were ignored by the majority party and subsequently the house adopted the bill with clear majority.

PML-N leader Raja Zafrul Haq said that there should have been negotiations on the matter before amending the constitution. “We have attached all hopes with the Supreme Court now,” he added.

Law Minister Farooq H. Naek said that the constitution gives the parliament right to legislate. “We are not against the judiciary, but respect the constitution,” he added.

Earlier today, it was reported that the government has decided to delay the submission of response to the Supreme Court pertaining to the NRO implementation case. The response would be submitted to the apex court after the approval from the federal cabinet.

Replying to questions of media representatives during a press briefing held after the cabinet meeting, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the PPP had already sacrificed one prime minister. Now the cabinet’s approval would be sought before taking future decisions.