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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

NA passes 19th constitutional amendment

ISLAMABAD, Dec 22 : The National Assembly Wednesday passed the 19th constitutional (amendment) Bill aiming at bringing changes in the procedure for appointment of judges in the superior judiciary.

Two hundred and fifty eight members voted in favour of the amendment while one member opposed the Bill.

Under the amendment, the Prime Minister will also have a say on the issue of judges’ appointment.

The 19th constitutional amendment has been passed keeping in view the verdict of the Supreme Court regarding appointment of judges in the superior courts and essential amendments have been made in the light of October 21,2010 judgment.

Under this amendment, number of senior judges as member of the Judicial Commission has been raised from two to four. It has also been proposed in the amendment to authorize the Commission for suggesting the names of ad hoc judges for appointment in the superior courts instead of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

It has been proposed in the Bill that in case of dissolution of National Assembly, the members of the parliamentary committee will consist of the members from the Senate only.

Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms,Senator Mian Raza Rabbani who tabled the bill in the National Assembly termed the amendment as a landmark achievement in the constitutional history of Pakistan and hoped it will go a long way in strengthening all State institutions including judiciary. He said the amendments made in the constitution is a proof that we respect judiciary.

Speaking after the passage of the 19th amendment, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani described it as a landmark achievement as for the first time constitutional amendments have been made not for an individual but for the restoration of the original 1973 constitution, strengthening of the institutions and in line with the vision of the founding fathers for Parliamentary form of government in the country.

The Prime Minister said the passage of the amendment has proved that Parliament and judiciary can work in unison. He pointed out that the 1973 constitution was made a hotch potch through amendments by individuals and it was neither parliamentary nor presidential

Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani congratulated the parliament, political leadership and the nation for taking decisions in the interest of the country so that there is no clash among the institutions. He hoped that each institution will respect the other.

The Prime Minister said Mian Raza Rabbani deserves the highest civil award for the unparallel contributions he has made in the drafting of the constitutional amendments.

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