ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice rejected the Civil Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2016 introduced by the government asking for the right of appeal in civil courts.

The committee members recommended that the right of appeal against any order or decree passed by a civil judge should remain with the high courts.

The Senate standing committee meeting was held under the chair of Senator Javed Abbasi at the Parliament House on Tuesday.

The bill introduced in Senate by Minister of Law and Justice Zahid Hamid sought unlimited pecuniary jurisdiction to a district judge and an additional district judge regarding appeal. Committee members Muzaffar Hussain Shah and Zaheer-ud-din Babar Awan were present in the meeting.

The committee also discussed The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016 moved by Senator Zaheer-ud-din Babar Awan. The bill seeks three amendments in article 209 of the constitution relating to complaints against judges. It asks for making all complaints public, making decisions within 45 days of the complaint and provision of punishment in case of baseless and false complaints.

The mover himself suggested seeking the opinion of all stakeholders including bar councils and bar associations before forming any opinion on the bill. Senator Muzaffar Hussain Shah endorsed the suggestion and asked for inviting the legal fraternity at the next meeting.

The committee also heard DG UN Asim Iftikhar and Legal Adviser Ahmed Nazeer Warriach from the Foreign Office and Additional Draftsman Sheikh Sarfaraz from the Law division on the bill introduced by Senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja asking for a national commission for international law and commitments.

The bill was opposed by both ministries calling it a mere duplication of the existing mechanism of oversight of the treaties signed by Pakistan. Chairman and members of the committee also opposed the bill terming it self-contradictory and observed that it will not serve a useful purpose.

The mover will submit his response to the objections after holding a public hearing.