ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Law Farooq H. Naek said that there was neither any mention of judges' restoration nor appointment in the draft constitutional amendment proposal presented by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) to Pakistan People's Party seeking annulment of 17th Constitutional Amendment. Talking to media persons outside Parliament House on Wednesday Farooq H. Naek said that there was no provision of two Chief Justices at a time in the constitution and added that constitution was also silent regarding the restoration of the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Farooq H. Naek said that the draft constitutional proposal given to them by PML (N) just revolved round the Presidential powers with the aim of curtailing it and devolving the same to the Prime Minister and the Parliament. To a question Farooq H. Naek said that after Oct 12, 1999 some judges had refused to take oath under PCO while some of them had taken oath under the PCO and Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was one of them. But when again the judges of superior judiciary were asked to take oath under PCO after the imposition of Emergency by the then President Gen. Musharraf on Nov. 3, 2007 again some judges of superior judiciary had refused to take oath and this time the then Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had refused to take oath under PCO. The Law Minister said that now all the judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan were under the 1973 Constitution oath and Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar had also taken the oath under Article 193 of the 1973 Constitution and they were all protected under the Constitution of Pakistan. To a question he said that the deposed judges were not paid salaries from the consolidated fund as required under the Constitution and were paid from the special fund of the Prime Minister. To another question he said that there was a set procedure for the induction of apex court judges and like those who had taken fresh oath as required under the Constitution every deposed judge had to pass through this procedure. Federal Minister for Law said that after the election of Ali Ahmad Kurd as President Supreme Court Bar Association he had called him and asked him to have a meeting so that the issue of deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan's restoration could be resolved in the light of the Constitution but he refused to turn up and the matter was put in limbo. Earlier, PML-N's Secretary Information, Ahsan Iqbal, in the National Assembly pledged his party's full support to PPP-led government for repealing the controversial clauses of the 17th Amendment as well as making Charter of Democracy (CoD) a part of the Constitution in letters and spirit. He was responding to a statement of Federal Minister for Law Farooq H Naek in the National Assembly. He said that PML-N proposed 18th Amendment would gauge the sincerity of the ruling party, as all the political forces want to do away with the 17th Amendment. Naek in his statement had alleged that PML-N had neither mentioned CoD in their proposed package for 18th Amendment nor had responded to the constitutional package handed over to it by PPP. Ahsan Iqbal said that PPP being in government had more responsibility for implementing CoD and offered his party's full support in this regard. He said that PML-N opposed PPP's constitutional package because of some highly controversial clauses, like empowering the President to grant indemnity. However, Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan while reacting to Ahsan Iqbal's statement said that PML-N would have to accept clauses like renaming NWFP as part of the provincial autonomy while doing away with the 17th Amendment. He said that government would examine constitutional packages, submitted by PML-N and PML-Q, as both the documents have equal importance. Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Sherry Rehman told the Lower House that the government would not tolerate incidents of acid throwing on women and those responsible for the heinous crimes would be punished severely. The government is making law in this regard and a draft of it has been sent to the concerned committee, Sherry said while supplementing the reply of Minister of State for Interior, Tasneem Ahmed Qureshi, to a calling attention notice, moved by Shamshad Sattar Bachani, Shakeela Khanam Rasheed, Azra Fazal Pechuho, Yasmeen Rehman and Nafisa Shah. She also informed the House that a state-of-the-art burn centre is being established at PIMS where acid victims would also receive plastic surgery. To another calling attention notice moved by Rana Mahmoodul Hassan, Nisar Tanveer, Mian Marghoob Ahmed, Raja Muhammad Asad Khan and Muhammad Afzal Khokhar regarding theft of medicines worth millions of rupees from Polyclinic Hospital, Minister for Health Ijaz Jakhrani said that FIA was probing into the incident. He also assured that the report would be presented to the House right after its availability. He, however, said that the medicines were actually worth Rs 1,26,000 instead of millions of rupees. Moreover, the House on Wednesday sent a privilege motion of MNA Mudassar Qayyum Naira against Secretary Ministry of Communication to the concerned standing committee. The member had claimed that the Secretary had insulted him. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan didn't oppose the motion, rather stressed that the bureaucracy needs to mend its attitude towards the elected representatives. Furthermore, Minister for Housing and Works Rehmatullah Kakar, on a point of order, pointed out that Chairman Standing Committee on Education had used contemptuous language for Speaker National Assembly in a letter published in a section of press. To this, Speaker National Assembly Dr Fahmida Mirza observed that MNAs should avoid the practice and lodge complaints with her in her chamber so that the image of the House not tarnished. She, however, clarified that the chair had nothing to do with calling meetings of the committees, which was the responsibility of Secretary National Assembly. Meanwhile, the House also resumed debate over the address of President Asif Ali Zardari to the joint session of the Parliament. Taking part in the debate, Treasury member Nadeem Ahmad Chand called for strengthening democracy in the country through positive change in behaviour of members on both sides of the political divide. Chand said that the entire political system could not be sacrificed for one deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, who had rendered no sacrifices for the cause of democracy in the country. He said these were the politicians who protected and upheld the banner democracy in the country at the cost of their lives. He also called for introduction of democracy within the parties. APP adds: Earlier, Federal Law Minister Farooq H Naek told the National Assembly that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz did not consult Charter of Democracy in 17th Amendment bill, particularly regarding the criteria of appointment of judges. "PML-N neither consulted CoD in the 17th amendment bill, it submitted, nor it talked of amending the Article 193 of the Constitution, which deals with the appointment of judges," said the minister replying to a supplementary question in the question hour session. He said the criterion for the appointment of judges is enshrined in the Constitution and the Article 193 has not yet been amended, so yet the Constitution is supreme. "We have due respect for CoD as it was signed by Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, but until its clauses are incorporated in the Constitution, the Constitution would remain supreme," he said. So far as the amendment of the concerned article of the Constitution is concerned, the PPP has given a constitutional package, but the PML-N could not reach consensus over the matter. Naek told the National Assembly that the government is going to launch free legal aid programmeme for poor litigants from next month, after the consensus of all the four provinces. Replying to a question, the minister said the draft of this ordinance has been sent to all the four provinces and once it is received, the programmeme would be launched, which would be the first ever initiative in the history to provide free legal aid. "We would provide public defenders and the concerned office would pay the legal services charges to the hired young attorney which would not only benefit the litigant in case of free legal aid but also the lawyer in getting client and improve the efficiency," said the minister.