ISLAMABAD   -  Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani Saturday summoned session of the Upper House on July 23 on requisition submitted by the opposition to move a no-confidence motion against him.

In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (3) of Article 54, read with Article 61 of the Constitution, the chairman Senate has summoned the Senate to meet in the Parliament Building on Tuesday, the July 23, 2019 at 3pm, said a notification issued by the Senate Secretariat.

However, there still exists confusion whether Sadiq Sanjrani would allow the opposition parties in the Senate to move the no-confidence motion against him or the session would be prorogued after discussing the motion only as both are poles apart on the issue.

It is important to note here that Rule 12 (Removal of Chairman or Deputy Chairman) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012 says that “the Chairman or, as the case may be, the Deputy Chairman shall not preside over a sitting of the Senate in which a resolution for his removal from office is fixed for consideration.”

On July 9, the opposition parties had submitted a no-confidence resolution with the Senate Secretariat for the removal of chairman Senate. Besides this, it submitted a requisition to convene the session to move the no-trust motion.

On July 11, the joint opposition which has a majority in the 104-memnber house announced the name of National Party Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo as its candidate for the chairman Senate.

Under the Constitution, Senate chairman has to summon the session within 14 days of the receipt of requisition.

On the other hand, Sanjrani in his July 17 letter told the opposition that no-confidence motion could not be moved in a requisitioned session and the requisition should be either withdrawn or a specific agenda other than his removal for the session should be given.

“A detailed examination of the constitutional provision, rules, standing orders and ruling of former Chairman Senate dated 10th February, 2016 reveals that a session of the Senate can be requisitioned under Article 61 read with clause (3) of Article 54 of the Constitution to discuss an issue through a motion under Rule 218 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012, and not for a resolution (of no-confidence),” he said in a letter written to Senator Sherry Rehman, the PPP parliamentary leader in the Senate.

“In view of the above mentioned, members will only be allowed to discuss ‘to move resolution under Rule 12 for Removal of Chairman’, which I am certain is not the intent of the opposition, therefore, you may provide some issues of public/national importance for discussion during the requisitioned session or keeping in view that notice of a motion to move for leave to move a resolution (of removal) is already under process with the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, may want to withdraw the requisition and wait for the regular session for moving the said motion,” the letter further said.

On July 19, the opposition rejected the stance of chairman Senate and said that any delay in no-trust move would be unconstitutional.

In a letter written to Sanjrani, the opposition parties stated that the Constitution allowed to bring a no-confidence motion against chairman Senate. And if the motion is accepted through a majority, the office of chairman shall stand vacated, they added.

“That, paragraph (c) of clause 7 of Article 53 of Constitution of 1973, read with Article 61 of Constitution provides that a vote of no confidence may be brought against the chairman Senate by giving not less than 7 days’ notice,” the letter said.

The letter stressed that in the said constitutional provision, there is “no provision” that the no-trust resolution would be passed in a session either summoned by the President or in a requisitioned session.

“The said constitutional provision places no bar that a resolution of no confidence will not be taken up in any particular session including a requisitioned session,” read the letter signed by parliamentary leaders of four opposition parties besides leader of opposition in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq.

The opposition in the letter also objected that it was “highly inappropriate and in violation of the rules and the 1973 Constitution that chairman Senate himself had objected over the motion that was meant for his own removal.

The letter further said that in the light of the constitutional provisions and rules, the secretary Senate is required to place the motion on the orders of the day, as the only business, on the first day when the Senate meets either on a requisition or in a session summoned by the President.