Cabinet Approves Bill Exempting President,
PM, Governors, CMs From Contempt
The federal cabinet last week approved the draft of the Contempt of Court Bill 2012, which will exempt the President, Prime Minister, Governors and Chief Ministers from contempt of court proceedings. The cabinet also approved the bill to allow dual nationals to participate in the next general elections; the bill will also protect current lawmakers with dual nationality from disqualification.
The decision of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) to reopen Nato supply routes was also endorsed by the cabinet in its session at the PM Secretariat with Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf chairing the meeting.
After the cabinet meeting, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira while talking to media said that it was part of the PPP manifesto to provide the right to vote in elections, to overseas Pakistanis. He said that Pakistan has agreements with 16 countries on dual nationality and they do not bar Pakistani nationals from becoming members of their parliaments.
About the Contempt of Court Bill 2012, he said the PPP and its allied parties fully believed that stability of national institutions was vital to make democracy strong in the country. He said the bill was not aimed to put any restrictions on the superior judiciary, but to give right of appeal against conviction.
Kaira said that article 248 (1) says, "The president, a governor, the prime minister, a federal minister, a minister of state, the chief minister and a provincial minister shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise of powers and performance of functions of their respective offices or for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those functions."
Kaira said if some article of the constitution gives a right to someone, nobody has a right to withdraw it and the proposed bill only clarifies that position.