No lawmaker shall be arrested within precincts of assembly: NA passes amendment

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lawmaker arrested

Islamabad: The National Assembly of Pakistan on Thursday passed amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007. The amendment now prohibits the arrest of lawmakers within the precincts of the assembly.

Murtaza Javed Abbasi of the PML-N presented the amendment resolutions in the lower house today. The session was presided over by Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani.

According to the agenda copy of today’s NA session, two amendments to Rules no 103 and 106 were presented before the assembly. Both rules relate to matters of the arrest of lawmakers.

Rule no. 103 previously required authorities to immediately “inform” the speaker in case of an arrest. After the amendment, the rule now requires the “approval of the speaker” before making an arrest.

“When a member has to be arrested on a criminal charge or for a criminal offense or has to be detained under an executive order, the committing judge, magistrate or executive authority, as the case may be, shall immediately seek approval of the Speaker indicating the reasons for the arrest or detention, as the case may be, and after such arrest, detention or when a member is sentenced to imprisonment by a court of law, the committing judge, magistrate or executive authority, as the case may be shall intimate the place of detention or imprisonment of the member in the appropriate form set out in the Fourth Schedule,” the rule says now.

Similarly, Rule no. 106 previously stated that no lawmaker would be arrested within the precincts of the Assembly without the permission of the speaker.

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The amendment now says: “No member shall be arrested within the precincts of the Assembly.”

Defense Minister Khawaja Asif proposed that the amendment should also make it mandatory for the speaker or chairman of a committee to issue a production order for a lawmaker who was detained or arrested.

Subsequently, all three amendments were approved by the National Assembly.

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