ISLAMABAD: The Senate has declined to accept the Presidential Ordinance regarding amendments in Capital Development Authority (CDA) Ordinance 1960, and directed the Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry to explain with substantive reasons of delay for placing before the Upper House.
President Mamnoon Husain had promulgated the ordinance to amend the Capital Development Authority Ordinance 1960 on January 11, 2018.
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Four amendments that were proposed by CADD had been approved by cabinet without any changes and subsequently by president through a presidential order. The federal cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, had made amendments to the CDA Ordinance 1960 moved by the CADD minister following Islamabad High Court (IHC) orders barring the government from appointing a civil servant to the post of CDA chairman or members CDA Board. The fresh amendments had paved the way for appointments of civil servants only as CDA chairman and members CDA board.
Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani has passed a ruling against the CDA Amendment Ordinance 2018 on Wednesday stating the Ordinance was laid in the National Assembly on February, 12. The 272nd session of the Senate was summoned by the president on January 22, which was prorogued on January 26.
Ruling further states that 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, empowers the President to promulgate an ordinance in certain circumstances and that ordinance promulgated by the President under Article 89 is required to be laid before the National Assembly, in case of a Money Bill, under sub-para (i) of para (a) of clause (2) of Article 89, before both Houses of Parliament if it does not relate to matter specified in clause (2) of Article 73, in terms of sub-para (ii) of para (a) of clause (2) of Article 89 of the Constitution, 1973.
The ruling further spells that relevant constitutional provision i.e. Article 89 and the relevant Rules i.e. Rule 145 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012, The President may, except when the Senate or National Assembly is in session, that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action, make and promulgate an ordinance and ordinance promulgated under this Article shall have the same force and effect as an Act of [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] and shall be subject to like restrictions as the power of [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] to make law. But every such ordinance — shall be laid — before the National Assembly and shall stand repealed at the expiration of four months from its promulgation or, if before the expiration of that period a resolution disapproving it is passed by the Assembly. The ruling states that the National Assembly may extend the ordinance for a further period of one hundred and twenty days and it shall stand repealed at the expiration of the extended period, or if before the expiration of that period through a resolution disapproving passed by the Assembly.
The ordinance laid before the National Assembly shall be deemed to be a Bill introduced in the National Assembly; and ordinance laid before both Houses under sub-paragraph shall be deemed to be a Bill introduced in the House where it was first laid.
In his ruling Senate Chairman said that a member may move a resolution for disapproval of an Ordinance or a member or a Minister may move a resolution for extension of ordinance under sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of clause (2) of Article 89 of the Constitution after giving three working days’ notice of his intention to do so.
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The ruling says previously, similar matter came under consideration of the House wherein, an ordinance titled as “The National Command Authority (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016” was laid before the Senate with the delay of 92 days. A Member of Parliament, has a right to move for disapproval of an ordinance, when it does not contain provisions relating to clause (2) of Article 73 of the Constitution, which can only be exercised after it has come to the knowledge of the Parliament that an ordinance has been promulgated when the House was not in session, or; A Member of the National Assembly has the right to move for disapproval of ordinance, when it falls within the ambit of clause (2) of Article 73 of the Constitution, which can only be exercised after it has come to the knowledge of the National Assembly that an Ordinance has been promulgated when the House was not in Session. Delay of each day results in denying the right to move for disapproval of an Ordinance, which amounts to restricting members to discharge their constitutional duties and obligations, hence, amounts to breach of Privilege of the House or Houses and its Members.
In view of the above, the Government is directed to adhere to the Constitution and the Rules framed therein, while laying an ordinance in terms of clause (2) of Article 89 of the Constitution, 1973 and adopt following procedure: - An Ordinance shall be laid on the first day of the sitting of the House held after the promulgation of the said Ordinance on which formal Government business is to be transacted.
The Government shall lay along with the Ordinance reasons that necessitated the President to promulgate the Ordinance.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2018.