ISLAMABAD - Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani on Monday through a ruling rejected the government’s decision to place five regulatory bodies under the administrative control of the respective ministries without the approval of the Council of Common Interests (CCI).

The chair ruled that the prime minister couldn’t transfer a regulatory body from one ministry or division to another without the prior approval of the CCI. The Senate chairman had reserved the ruling after the conclusion of a debate on the transfer of the five regulatory bodies to line ministries through an executive order.

Rabbani said that the step taken by the prime minister was unconstitutional, as he had surpassed his powers while completely ignoring the CCI. He said that no regulatory body could be brought under a line ministry without the council’s approval. Rabbani declared that any attempt to bypass the CCI in taking such policy decisions was a constitutional violation affecting the rights of the federating units and against the spirit of participatory federalism and the scheme of the constitution.

The position of CCI, he said, has clearly been defined in the case of Federation of Pakistan Vs United Sugar Mills case. 

The government had taken the plea that the decision of placement of the regulatory bodies under the administrative control of line ministries had been taken under provisions of the rules and the constitutional powers of the government.

Law Minister Zahid Hamid had claimed that the regulatory bodies had been handed over to the ministries under the rules and the constitutional powers of the government and in line with judgements of courts. 

While giving reference to different court verdicts and the position taken by the leader of opposition in the Senate, Aitzaz Ahsan, Rabbani said that the prime minister could not decide on any matter on his own, without the approval of the CCI.