ISLAMABAD – With an all "ayes" in the final voice vote on Friday, the Senate passed 'The Investigation for Fair Trial Bill, 2012'.The unanimously passed piece of legislation now needs approval of the president to become a law. Earlier, it was passed by the lower house of the parliament after incorporating a total of 32 amendments, proposed by the PML-N and MQM.It mainly aims at regulating the powers of intelligence and law enforcement agencies by empowering them to intercept emails, Short Message Service (SMS), telephonic calls etc to prevent terrorist acts. Under this law 'collection of evidence by means of modern techniques and devices' would be admissible in courts in cases registered under security related laws and it will also authorise intelligence agencies to acquire a 2-month arrest warrant for the suspects, if the scientific evidence against them holds weight.The statement of objects and reason of 39-claused bill states it is “to provide a legal mechanism for conducting lawful and transparent investigation that constitutes the integral basis for trial”. It says, "All law enforcement and intelligence agencies will be governed by a uniform legal system for collection of evidence, which will be admissible even if collected prior to the registration of FIR." The bill cited the ISI, three services’ intelligence agencies, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and police as agencies that could seek surveillance warrant against any person.The bill provides that law enforcement and intelligence agencies would be allowed to intercept and record telephone communication of the suspect; video recording of any person, persons, premises, event, situation etc; and interception or recording or obtaining of any electronic transaction, including, but not limited to, emails, SMS etc; use of human intelligence; covert surveillance and property interference; access to any information or data in any form related to a transaction, communication or its content; and any other form of surveillance or interception notified by the federal government.After smooth sailing of the bill through the senate, legislators belonging to ANP and JUI-F separately staged walkouts over the law and order situation in Karachi and imposition of governor rule in Balochistan. Speaking on a point of order, Senator Zahid Khan of ANP criticised Interior Minister Rehman Malik saying that he has assumed the role of an intimidator and has abandoned his ministerial responsibilities.“Somebody must tell him that his (Malik) responsibility is not just to caution public about future terrorist activities in the country. Why doesn't he just assure arrest of culprits,” Khan said before walking out of the house along with ANP senators in protest over Karachi situation.On the other hand, JUI-F continued his protest on Thursday over imposition of governor rule in Balochistan. Senator Talha Mehmood of JUI-F threatened that if government continued to give a deaf ear to their protest than JUI-F would produce sit-in inside the house in front of senate chairman’s dice. JUI-F, once again, demanded the president must revoke his earlier decision and restore democratically elected provincial assembly of Balochistan.Later, JUI-F walked out of the house in protest. Senator Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal of PML-N on the occasion recalled that governor rule was also imposed in Sindh in 1998 during the PML-N regime to normalise the situation arising after the assassination of Hakim Saeed. Senator Saeed Ghani of PPP on that clarified that it was imposed as MQM, which was an ally of PML-N in Sindh, had left the PML-N-led coalition government leaving it in minority.“After MQM's departure from coalition government, PPP was in a position to form provincial government. But Nawaz Sharif preferred to lift Ghous Ali Shah the position of PM's adviser and bestowed him with the powers of chief minister, that was totally unconstitutional,” Ghani straightened the record. Later, the house was adjourned to meet again on Wednesday (February 6) at 3pm.