Senate of Pakistan during the 270th session passed two bills and eight resolutions and failed to consider the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2017. The session, comprising five sittings, continued from November 17 till November 27, with an average of 17% Senators present at the start and 14% at the end, each sitting commenced with an average delay of 20 minutes and lasted for an average two hours and 59 minutes. The average highest attendance during each sitting was 59 (57%) members including two minority lawmakers. The lawmakers also approved the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2017 that provided for increasing the punishment and fine for public misbehavior by the drunken persons.
The House did not address the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2017 seeking amendments in the Article 51 of the Constitution for reallocation of seats among federating units. The proposed amendment also provides for the delimitation of the constitution on the basis of the provisional results of the National Population and Housing Census 2017. The bill appeared on the Orders of the Day four times but was not addressed. A private member’s bill – the Prevention of Witchcraft Bill, 2017 – was referred to the Select Committee while a government bill – the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2017 – was referred to the relevant standing committee for further deliberations. The Chair deferred the Area Study Centres (Amendment) Bill, 2017 on request of the concerned lawmaker while the West Pakistan Pure Food (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was dropped due to absence of its mover.
The Chair informed the House that the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2017, the Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and two other bills seeking Amendment in Article 63A of the Constitution had been received back from the Standing Committees and were awaiting notices under Rule 100 for their consideration in the House. .—APP