List of Business
PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PUNJAB
LIST OF BUSINESS
THE MEETING OF THE ASSEMBLY TO BE HELD ON THURSDAY
10 JANUARY 2019 AT 11:00 A.M.
Tilawat and Naat
(1) SCHOOLS EDUCATION; AND (2) HIGHER EDUCATION DEPARTMENTS
to be asked and answers given
CALL ATTENTION NOTICES
Call Attention Notices, entered in the separate list,
to be asked and oral answers given
INTRODUCTION OF BILL
THE NAMAL INSTITUTE MIANWALI BILL 2019
A MINISTER to introduce the Namal Institute Mianwali Bill 2019.
Lahore: Muhammad Khan Bhatti
09 January 2019 Secretary
Summary of Proceedings
Summary of the Proceedings
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Started at 12:34 p.m.
with a recitation from the Holy Qur’an and its Urdu translation followed by Naat-e-Rasool-e-Maqbool ﷺ.
In Chair Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari, Deputy Speaker
The House offered Fateha on the sad demise of father of Mr. Iftikhar Hussain, Photographer, Punjab Assembly and for the victims of road accident at Rajanpur, in which nine people died and several injured.
Questions relating to Schools Education and Higher Education Department were asked and Mr Murad Raas, Minister for Schools Education and Mr. Yasir Humayun, Minister for Higher Education answered the questions.
Call Attention Notices
Previous and Current Call Attention Notices
Three Call Attention Notices were taken up. Ms. Hina Pervaiz Butt moved a Call Attention Notice kept pending on 13 December 2018 regarding murder of mother and her daughter persuing a murder case within the court premises by the opponents at Jahania, District Khanewal, the second Notice moved by Ms Khadija Umer on 7 January 2019 regarding rape and murder of a nine years girl at Lohari Gate, Lahore and the Notice moved by Ms Momina Waheedthroat cutting of Ms Sana Kalsoom and her mother Qasara Bano at Sambrial, District Sialkot, were disposed of after replied by Mr. Muhammad Basharat Raja, Minister for Law & Parliamentary Affairs.
Sheikh Alla-ud-Din moved an Adjournment Motion regarding commercialization around Bagh-e-Jinnah, Lahore also known as Lawrence Garden which has devastated its condition and it seems to be a conspiracy to hand it over to private developers for maintenance, was kept pending.
Introduction of Bill
Mr. Muhammad Basharat Raja, Minister for Law & Parliamentary Affairs introduced “The Namal Institute Mianwali Bill 2019”, which was referred to the Standing Committee on Education on its constitution with the direction to submit its report within two months.
The Bill kept pending on 9 January 2019 after its introduction by Mr Muhammad Basharat Raja, Minister for Law & Parliamentary Affairs “The Punjab Occupational Safety and Health Bill 2019” was also referred to the concerned Standing Committee on its constitution with the direction to submit its report within two months.
Ruling of the Chair
At the commencement of session, on January 07, 2019, Mian Shafi Muhammad, MPA PP-258, assumed the Chair. After recitation from the Holy Quran and Naat-e-Rasool-e-Maqbool ﷺ, Mr. Muhammad Khan Bhatti, Secretary Assembly, announced the Panel of Chairmen in terms of Rule 13(1) of Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, 1997,
Opposition Members raised Point of Order that since Mr. Speaker had become Acting Governor and Deputy Speaker, Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari had been notified as Acting Speaker, the session ought to have commenced while Acting Speaker was in Chair and Panel of Chairmen should have been announced by the Secretary Assembly in his presence and that Mian Shafi Muhammad was not legally presiding the session.
The situation mentioned above required a comprehensive Ruling by the Chair which was announced by the Acting Speaker and its complete text is available at the bottom of this summary.
The House was then adjourned at 02:26 p.m. to meet on Friday, January 11, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PUNJAB
RULING OF THE CHAIR
IN RESPECT OF POINTS OF ORDER RAISED REGARDING PRESIDING OF THE SITTING AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF A SESSION BY A MEMBER OF PANEL OF CHAIRMEN
This ruling shall dispose of the points of order raised by the hon’ble Members from the Opposition during the sitting held on January 7, 2019.
Brief background of this ruling is that the sixth session of 17th Provincial Assembly of the Punjab was summoned by the Governor of the Punjab on January 2, 2019 to commence from Monday, January 7, 2019. It is established practice that whenever a Session is summoned, Mr Speaker, in discharge of his constitutional and codal responsibilities issues certain orders, as for instance, approval of sitting plan, fixing time and date for the meeting of business advisory committee, appointment of Panel of Chairmen, approval of security plan, etc. These arrangements are made prior to the commencement of the Session for the smooth conduct of the Session. Following this prevalent practice and norms, Mr Parvez Elahi, Speaker, Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, nominated a Panel of Chairmen for this Session on January 3, 2019 on the relevant file. However, the Panel, was to be announced by the Secretary on the first sitting of this Session, i.e. January 7, 2019 after the recitation and Na’at.
In the meanwhile, Ch Muhammad Sarwar, Governor of the Punjab had to proceed abroad and Mr Parvez Elahi, Speaker, Provincial Assembly of the Punjab assumed the charge of Acting Governor. Consequently, I, Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari, Deputy Speaker, Provincial Assembly of the Punjab was notified to act as Speaker vide Assembly Secretariat Notification issued on January 4, 2019.
Incidentally, owing to some unavoidable circumstances, I was not available to attend the sitting of the first day, i.e. Monday, January 7, 2019, and I informed the Assembly Secretariat about this fact. I had also directed the Assembly Secretariat to make arrangement accordingly for the first sitting of the Assembly on January 7, 2019.
Mian Shafi Muhammad, MPA (PP-258), the first name in the order of preference, already appointed by Mr Speaker as per previous practice and norms, assumed the Chair at the commencement of the first sitting of January 7, 2019; and after recitation of tilawat and na’at, the Secretary Assembly announced the Panel of Chair. However, the Opposition raised the point of order that before announcement of Panel of Chair, no member of the Panel could assume the Chair and the Acting Speaker ought to have presided the first sitting. A long debate was held in the House. The gist of the points raised by the Opposition is summarized below:
(i) Mian Shafi Muhammad, MPA (PP-258) was not authorized to assume the Chair at the commencement until a motion moved by a Minister in terms of Rule 13(2) of the Rules of Procedure of Provincial Assembly of the Punjab 1997 for electing the Chair before announcement of Panel of Chair.
(ii) they challenged the validity of proceeding of the House held before adoption of above motion by the House.
With this background and after perusal of record and the relevant rules, I, Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari, Acting Speaker, proceed to announce my ruling given hereafter.
So far as the first point raised by the hon’ble Opposition members is concerned, Rule 13 of the Rules of Procedure of Provincial Assembly of the Punjab 1997, which remained under detailed discussion during the proceedings on January 7, 2019, provides as under:
13. Panel of Chairmen.– (1) At the commencement of a session, the Speaker shall nominate, in order of precedence, from amongst members a panel of not more than four Chairmen and in the absence of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, the member having precedence amongst those present at the sitting shall take the Chair.
(2) If at any time at a sitting of the Assembly neither the Speaker nor the Deputy Speaker nor any member on the Panel of Chairmen is present, the Secretary shall so inform the Assembly and the Assembly shall, by a motion, elect one of the members present to preside at the sitting.
I am of the view that sub-rule (2) of Rule 13 refers to a situation arising on a subsequent day of an ongoing session, when the Panel of Chair would have already been announced on the first day of that session; meaning thereby that this situation, prima facie, does not cater the instant situation, i.e. before announcement of the Panel of Chair. However, for the sake of avoiding any procedural implications, and on the demand of protesting Members, the Minister for Law & Parliamentary Affairs moved a motion under sub-rule (2) of Rule 13 and the same was adopted by the Assembly by majority. In my opinion, the matter stood resolved there and then as the Members of the Opposition took part in the proceedings of the House thereafter.
So far as the second point raised by the hon’ble Opposition members challenging the validity of a part of proceedings on that day is concerned, it would be pertinent to mention that on the adoption of the above-mentioned motion, the Chair, in his short ruling on the same day, had validated that part of the proceedings.
I have given due consideration to this matter as well and hereby endorse the said short ruling with some additional arguments given hereafter.
It would be pertinent to quote Article 67 of the Constitution, which provides that subject to the Constitution, a House may make rules for regulating its procedure and the conduct of its business, and shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in the membership thereof, and any proceedings in the House shall not be invalid on the ground that some persons who were not entitled to do so sat, voted or otherwise took part in the proceedings. According to Article 66 of the Constitution, the proceedings of the House can not even be challenged in a court of law.
It is a general principal of law that the proceedings of a meeting of a body shall not be invalid merely due to any vacancy or defect in the constitution of that body. This provision can be found in a number of laws enacted by this very House.
With the above observations, I, Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari, Acting Speaker rule as under:
(i) Assumption of Chair at the commencement of the sitting on January 7, 2019 by Mian Shafi Muhammad, MPA (PP-258) was absolutely in accordance with the rules and was further validated by the motion adopted by the House; and
(ii) The entire proceedings of the House on January 7, 2019 were valid and in accordance with the Rules.
I conclude my ruling by quoting rule 209 of the Rules of Procedure of Provincial Assembly of the Punjab which provides that the ruling of the Chair shall not be called in question.