K-P Assembly Declares Offense under Ehtesab Commission Act Non-Bailable
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly passed a resolution on Thursday amending offenses under Ehtesab Commission Act will remain unbailable for all suspects from any court, including the Supreme Court.
“All offences under this (Ehtesab Commission) Act shall be non-bailable and no court shall have jurisdiction to grant bail to any person accused of an offence under this Act,” said Section 23 (II)(3) of the Ehtesab Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which was unanimously passed by the assembly.
Certain amendments were made to the existing law to make accountability process more aggressive.
Opposition leader Maulana Lutfur Rehman, who belongs to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, opposed amendments and asked the government to refer the bill to the House’ committee before the passage stage. He was of the view that constant amendments in the laws were no good practice.
Speaker Asad Qaisar said the government could make such legislation under Rules 82 and 83 of the assembly’s Procedure and Conduct of Business Rules and gave floor to the law minister Imtiaz Shahid Qureshi to move reso9lution for the passage of the bill.
The government had tabled the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2015, on Tuesday to remove certain gaps from the law.
Several suspects arrested under this law have got bail from the Peshawar High Court prompting the government to make amendments to it to ensure applicability of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Minerals and mines development minister Ziaullah Afridi is already in the custody of the Ehtesab Commission. A petition filed by his brother seeking Ziaullah’s release has been pending with the high court.
Under the amended law, anyone convicted for an offence under this Act shall not be entitled to any remission in his sentence.
The amended law empowers the government to declare any place a police station for the purposes of this Act, in terms of clause(s) of sub-section (1) of Section 4 of the code.
“Provided that in exigencies, which requires immediate action, the Director General, or an officer duly authorized by him, may declare and notify any place to be a police station or a sub-jail, for the purpose of arrest or efficient investigations, in the interest of justice.”
Making amendment to Section 42(1) the law said notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, each matter brought before the court under this Act, shall be disposed of within three months from the date of reference being made.
After framing of charges for the trial of a suspect, the court shall hear the case on day-to-day basis.
The amended law said it would be the responsibility of the commission and suspects to arrange legal representation and presence of its attorney or pleader on each hearing, failing which the Court shall proceed in the absence of attorney or pleader.
The house also passed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government (Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2015, which was tabled by local government minister Inayatullah Khan.
Amended Section 79 of the law said provided that the nazim and naib nazim of the district or tehsil or town council, as the case may be, shall be elected by votes of the majority of the total members of the respective district council or tehsil or town council.
The house also passed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
After amendment, the services of employees will become pensionable and made the institution-based practice optional for doctors and staff of Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital, Khyber Teaching Hospital and Hayatabad Medical Complex and Abbottabad’s Ayub Teaching Hospital.
Under the amended law, the employees opting for the private practice within the premises of the hospital, clinics, imaging facilities and laboratories of the MTI, may be entitled to such increase in salary, adjustment, bonuses or other ancillary benefits.
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