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Senate is a review chamber to scrutinize bills: Wasim

January 29, 2003

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 28: The Senate is not the upper house and more likely, it is a review chamber for scrutinising the texts of legislative bills and giving them a positive direction, free of any ambiguity.

This was stated by the former Senate chairman, Wasim Sajjad, while speaking on the second day of orientation workshop here on Tuesday.

When the women legislators asked the former Senate chairman whether the assumption of office by the President as a result of April 30 referendum was valid, he said only the courts could give a verdict on the issue. “I can merely give my opinion.”

He said both the Senate and the National Assembly had a role to elect the President.

To a question, whether the parliament was sovereign in all respects, Mr Waseem replied: “Yes, only if it has two-thirds majority. Otherwise it is not.”

He added that the Senate and the National Assembly Rules were identical, the Senate was not prevented from initiating new legislation which, of course, must be passed by both the chambers. “It has often been done in the past when the National Assembly was out of session, or when it was regarded prudent to take stock of objections of major political parties.”

In his view, the measure to restrict Money Bills to the National Assembly was correct.—Jonaid Iqbal