Opp in Senate wants to repeal ordinance

Disqualification of plea bargain beneficiaries

Staff reporter

Islamabad

Over one-third members of Senate submitted on Friday a resolution to repeal the National Accountability Amendment Ordinance promulgated last week to disqualify public servants seeking plea bargain.
On January 7, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the government had decided to immediately introduce the ordinance as the introduction of a bill in this regard would delay the matter.
As many as 38 senators from the opposition as well as coalition signed the resolution to disapprove the ordinance, former Finance Minister Senator Saleem Mandviwalla the newsmen.
“We the undersigned members of Senate of Pakistan wish to move the resolution under Article 89 (2) (a) (ii) read with rule 145 (2) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012,” the resolution read.
If the Senate passes the resolution, it will be the third time in less than two years that the opposition-controlled upper house of Parliament would strike down a Presidential Ordinance. Earlier, the House rejected Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Amendment Ordinance and Companies Ordinance 2016.
Mandviwalla said the Senate was expected to approve the resolution next week. The Senate, which has 104 seats, requires a minimum one-third members to sign the resolution to disapprove an ordinance.
According to the senator, the resolution was moved over objections on bypassing Parliament, saying members of the party also were not happy with the contents of the ordinance.
He said that the senators belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Awami National Party, Muttahida Quami Movement and Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata) signed the resolution.
According to the amendments, both the plea bargain and voluntary return agreements would require the approval of a court.
The Supreme Court took serious notice of the controversial plea bargain deal worth over Rs2 billion struck by former Balochistan Finance Secretary Mushtaq Raisani with NAB.
The apex court had asked the government for its point of view on the powers conferred on the NAB chairman under Section 25-A of the ordinance. Raisani was taken into custody on May 6, 2016 after a team of the bureau recovered sensitive documents and Rs603 million in cash during a raid at his residence.

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