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SC seeks explanation from attorney general on declaration of Hasba bill as money bill

20 February, 2007

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ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) while hearing presidential reference against Hasba bill has asked attorney general and counsel for NWFP government to explain on what basis any provincial speaker can declare any bill as money bill.

8-member SC bench led by chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took up the presidential reference for hearing. The members of bench were justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, justice Khalil ur Rehman Ramday, justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi, justice Mian Shakir Ullah Jan, justice Sayed Saeed Ashhad and justice Nasir ul Malik.

Attorney general Malkhdoom Ali Khan completed his arguments on behalf of the federation.

He argued a parallel judicial system would come into being with the passage of hasba bill. The current bill is not prepared in the light of decision given by the apex court earlier. Local government ordinance schedule -16 has been overlooked in the present bill. Mohtasib has been empowered to award punishment in contempt of court cases. On the other hand the incumbent Mohtasib has powers to give recommendations in this respect. He also enjoys the powers under section 21 PPC. This leads to bring a parallel judicial system, which is not permissible under the constitution. This is kept intact in the present bill despite SC orders. Had the current Hasba bill been formulated in line with SC verdict, there would have been no need to file presidential reference.

The apex court has also maintained an ambiguous criminal law can not be enacted, he submitted. The matter of Amar bil Maroof and Nahi Anal Munkir is all right only to the extent of education.

Justice Khalil ur Rehman Ramday observed this thing is said in the holy Quran and even the Non Muslims praise it.

Attorney general submitted Mohtasib would stop others from indulging in Un-Islamic practices but who will determine which practice is Un-Islamic.

Justice Khalil ur Rehman Ramday observed this matter is not resolved even in the constitution. If you stress on this point then all the constitutional clauses will stand ineffective.

Justice Khalil ur Rehman Ramday read out some clauses of Hasba bill. Mohtasib will prevent child labour, discourage beggary and ensure right of vote for women and realization of their share in inheritance. What do you think is objectionable clause among them, he questioned. It is happening for first time that crime is being stopped before it is committed. Otherwise the people go to the police station or move the court after a crime occurs.

Attorney general contended Hasba bill is in clash with article 227 of the constitution.

Justice Sardar Raza Khan remarked Federal Shariat court can decide about any law being Islamic or Un -Islamic.

Justice Khalil ur Rehman Ramday observed if some good legislation is going on, let it be enacted.

Chief justice inquired what situation would arise if this money bill was passed.

Justice Sardar Raza Khan asked if it will be binding on governor to sign the bill in case speaker of provincial assembly writes that Hasba bill is money bill.

Chief justice asked attorney general and counsel of NWFP governor Khalid Anwar to explain on what basis the speaker can declare any bill a money bill.

Khalid Anwar told that he would explain the matter in details today. Attorney general completed his arguments.

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