Pak govt. approves 24th Amendment Bill, as opposition cry foul

Islamabad [Pakistan], Jan. 11 : Despite the opposition rejecting the timing of the amendment, when Panama Papers case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is being heard by the Supreme Court, the federal government has approved the twenty-fourth Amendment Bill in the National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice.

Crying foul over the move, the opposition parties have said that the government wants to give right of appeal to the Prime Minister in case of his conviction in the Panama papers, reports the Daily Times.

The committee met on Monday under the Chairmanship of MNA (Member of National Assembly) Bashir Virk in the Parliament House, where the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) opposed the timing of the bill that is aimed at giving a right of appeal to the Prime Minister on a suo moto notice of the apex court.

MNA Dr Arif Alvi of the PTI said that at present, the public perception is that the government wants to save Prime Minister Sharif.

Meanwhile, MNA Iqbal Quadri of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) supported the amendment and suggested that filing application for right of appeal should be allowed within seven days and decision of appeal within 60 days.

Federal Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid rejected the opposition criticism and said that this had nothing to do with the Panama case.

He said that previously there was no provision for appeal against an order of the Supreme Court in exercise of its original jurisdiction under clause (3) of Article 184 of the Constitution.

This proposed amendment provided for an appeal within thirty days of an order of the Supreme Court to be heard by a Bench larger than the Bench which had passed the order under appeal.

The committee chairman announced, only one member of the panel rejected it and others were in favour of it, so the amendment bill was approved.

Source: ANI