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A view of National Assembly. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Commission Bill 2012 was presented in the National Assembly on Monday, DawnNews reported.

The bill was presented by Federal law Minister Farooq. H. Naek.

The proposed bill, if passed, would be applied on all people bearing public and government offices but the President of Pakistan would enjoy immunity over this.

According to the bill, cases older than October 1, 2002 can not be reopened.

The chairman of the commission will either be a retired judge of the Supreme Court or a Grade-22 officer. Similarly, the deputy chairman will be a retired judge of the high courts or a Grade-21 officer, the bill draft added.

The chairman will be appointed by the president for three years after holding talks with the prime minister and the opposition parties.

The bill was sent to National Assembly’s standing committee over law and justice for further consideration. The committee will send back the draft of the bill to the parliament by Oct 12.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) showed its opposition when the bill was presented in the lower House. PML-N’s Zahid Hamid said that it was not the same bill on which there was a consensus in the standing committee.

Adding that, he said that the recommendations of the PML-N were not included in the bill.

The PML-N was of the view that accountability should be started from 1947 and the head of the commission should be any judge currently serving.

Awami National Party (ANP) supported PML-N’s stance over the bill. ANP’s Pervez Khattak said that his party was also not taken into confience over this bill.

Minister for Law Farooq H Naek said that the previous bill had been withdrawn under the rules and with the permission of the Speaker. If the opposition has any reservations about the present bill, it should deliberate on the bill at the committee meeting, he added.

He said this House waited for that bill for more than two years and the draconian accountability law of Musharraf era had been in vogue, which was opposed by both the government and the opposition.

“We want a transparent bill that is not used for persecution and victimization of anyone. Both the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) suffered due to the accountability law of Musharraf regime,” he said.

Naek said that all the proceedings and actions regarding withdrawal of the previous bill and introduction of the new one, were according to rules.

Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah said the government desired to bring a good law for accountability and get it passed unanimously. “We always took opposition into confidence. We do not want to bulldoze the proceedings. We need better suggestions and make it a consensus bill.”

He said although we have majority and can pass the bill but we will still send the bill in the standing committee for the discussion.

Fair trial bill 2012

Federal law Minister on Monday also presented Fair trial bill 2012 in the National Assembly.

According the proposed bill, e-mails, text messages and other electronic correspondence could be presented as evidence.

The proposed draft of the Fair trial bill also defined the domains of intelligence and law enforcement agencies. The agencies can not detain anyone more than a particular time period.