Approval of Two Bills by Senate – Latest News Update



Recently, senate has approved two bills. One is amendments is Election bill 2022 and other is National Accountability, both bills were passed on Friday 27-05-2022 according to latest Dawn news. From lower house, the bills were already passed yesterday but they asked to reverse changes made in elections of 2022 which were made by overseas Pakistanis to cast their vote via electronic voting machine and internet voting. 

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They were introduced in the Senate today by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, respectively.

The measures were introduced amid speculation about early elections in the country, and a day after PTI chairman Imran Khan unexpectedly concluded his protracted march by giving the government a six-day deadline to announce the poll date. Only the president’s assent is required for them to become law after they have been approved by both houses.

When Abbasi introduced the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2022 amid opposition chanting of “no, no,” Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani questioned if the bill should be referred to the proper committee. Tarar said that the bill had already been approved by the committee. He clarified that Pakistanis living abroad had not been denied the right to vote, according to latest news update.

He told the upper house of parliament that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had been asked to ensure voting rights while maintaining secrecy.

“The ECP stated that we will be unable to hold elections [with electronic voting machines]. The Election Commission should ensure that Pakistanis living abroad have the right to vote.” Dr. Shahzad Waseem, Senate Leader of the Opposition, stated that the opposition would not allow anyone to “rob” abroad Pakistanis of their right to vote or compromise on the use of EVMs.

Who Approved the Bill

Tarar then mentioned that former science minister Senator Shibli Faraz and former railways minister Azam Swati were on the Senate committee that approved the bill. Faraz, on the other hand, claimed that the administration was attempting to convey the idea that the measure was acceptable to him, which was based on “mala fide intentions.”

“Votes in the committee [meeting] during which the bill was considered were equal,” he said, adding that the Election Commission’s objections were “just a piece of paper with no value.”

Following Faraz’s response, the opposition members resumed their sloganeering.

Following that, the Senate chairman questioned whether the bill should be referred to the committee, but the majority of members said no, according to latest news update.

The Senate then passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2022

Opposition members chanted slogans such as “imported government” and “no to NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) during the Senate session.

Tarar later presented the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Bill 2021, which was also passed during the session. The meeting was adjourned until 4 p.m. on Monday.

Election Regulations

According to the amendment to Section 94 of the Election Act of 2017, the ECP may conduct pilot projects for voting by overseas Pakistanis in by-elections to determine the technical efficacy, secrecy, security, and financial feasibility of such voting and shall share the results with the government, which shall lay the report before both houses of parliament within 15 days of the receipt of the report, according to latest news update.

The ECP may launch pilot projects to use EVMs and the biometric verification system in by-elections under the amendment to Section 103 of the Election Act.

NAB legislation

According to the bill requesting an amendment to the NAB Ordinance 1999, incumbent NAB chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal would be unable to continue in office because the previous administration withdrew the clause providing him an extension till the selection of his successor.

Following the completion of the chairman’s mandate, the bill proposes that the NAB’s deputy chairman, who will be selected by the federal government, will become the acting chairman of the agency. The bill also decreased the NAB chairman’s and prosecutor general’s four-year terms to three years, according to latest news update.

NAB will be unable to intervene on federal, provincial, or local tax concerns after the law is approved. Furthermore, the regulatory agencies that operate in the country have been removed from the purview of the NAB. The provisions of the law shall also not apply to “decisions of federal or provincial cabinet, their committees or sub-committees, Council of Common Interests (CCI), National Economic Council (NEC), National Finance Commission (NFC), Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec), Central Development Working Party (CDWP), State Bank of Pakistan, and such other bodies except where the holder of the public office has received a monetary gain as a result of the public office.”

The law will not apply to “procedural lapses in the performance of any public or government work or function, project or scheme, unless there is evidence to prove that a holder of public office or any other person acting on his behalf has been conferred or has received any monetary or other material benefit from that particular public or government work or function, whether directly or indirectly, on account of such procedural lapses, which the said recipient would not have received otherwise”, according to latest news update

Penalty of up to Five Years in Prison for Filing a Fraudulent Reference

The measure prohibits NAB personnel from making any public statements before filing references or throughout the investigation. In the event of a violation, they will face up to a year in prison and a fine of one million rupees. The law also includes a penalty of up to five years in prison for filing a fraudulent reference. The new law also mandates a three-year term for accountability court judges. It will also bind the courts to rule on a lawsuit within one year. The proposed law requires NAB to ensure the availability of evidence against an accused prior to his or her arrest.

Furthermore, NAB must commence an inquiry into a complaint within six months and present an apprehended person before an accountability court within 24 hours. The measure also stripped the NAB of its authority to keep an accused on detention for 90 days, which has now been reduced to 14 days, according to latest news update.

It goes on to add that the process of appointing the NAB chairman would begin two months before his term expires and will be finished in 45 days. Following the passing of the legislation, the power to choose the NAB chairman would now be held by the “federal government” rather than the president.


If the prime minister and the opposition leader cannot agree on the nomination of the NAB chairman, the matter will be brought to a legislative committee appointed by the National Assembly speaker, which would be required to finalise the name within a month. Members of the Senate will be represented on the committee as well. The statute “will be deemed to have taken effect on and from the start of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999,” according to one of the primary revisions.

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