ISLAMABAD - The Upper House of the Parliament Wednesday in a late evening session concluded the constitutional debate on the controversial appointment of leader of the opposition after PML-Ns senior lawmaker and also a contender for this slot, Ishaq Dar gave his arguments on the issue. Three legislators including Ishaq Dar, Mian Raza Rabbani and Leader of the House Nayyer Hussain Bokhari made their speeches on the controversial appointment issue on the last day of the historical legal debate. The house will start the debate today on the Presidents address to the Joint Sitting of the Parliament that was lying pending from the last many sessions. Senator Ishaq Dar Wednesday contended that electoral college was supposed to be frozen after the slot of opposition leader occurred on May 2, but with mala fide intentions it was changed later. The slot was occurred on May 2 after PML-Q joined the ruling coalition, but all the process occurred after May 19 that led to the June 6 announcement of Moulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideris appointment as Opposition Leader is based on mala fide intentions, Ishaq said. He said prior to the manoeuvring of the electoral college, the Senate record was showing a total of 74 senators sitting on treasury benches, while 26 on opposition benches. The record also shows that all the independent senators from FATA and Balochistan including Senator Abdur Rashid and Senator Saleh Shah, who are counted as JUI-F members, were part of treasury benches, thus having no right to poll their vote for the slot. He also alleged that resignation paper of former opposition leader was also tempered after May 19 to facilitate JUI-F. He said the Senate Secretariat included undated letters of four senators including Engineer Rashid, Idrees Khan Safi, Abbas Khan Afridi and Haji Khan Afridi showing their support to JUI-F candidate and all these letters are bearing signatures of Secretary Senate of Pakistan. All the letters are written on same pattern in same writing style and above all these are undated having no diary number, Ishaq Dar said. He also said that drastic changes are needed to be made to keep and maintain the record of the Senate. He said Senate rules regarding appointment of opposition leader were explicit and that there was no need to apply the definitions of European and other countries in this regard. There was no provision to appoint opposition leader from single largest party and that Senates rules are categorical and clear in this regard. National Assemblys 2007 amended rules regarding the issue provides opposition leader will be a person who enjoys majority of numbers in opposition not single party in majority, he added. Regarding PML-Q senators who voted in favour of Ishaq, he said, 25 per cent of the opposition had been disenfranchised, which is not fair. The Senate had acknowledged the nine of the PML-Q senators as opposition, when you (chairman) allotted seats to the them on opposition benches, he said. He also termed Ch Shujaats letter to Chairman Senate as unlawful. He quoted the reference of a letter written by four senators from FATA including Haji Khan, Abbas Khan, Abdul Rashid and Abdul Aziz, who had formed a group and recognised themselves as part of treasury benches on March 18, 2009. He also contended that chairman had powers to review or revisit his decision as anybody can make mistake. He also lamented that his party was barred from the opportunity that, he said, was essential as fundamental right as well as part of the process. At last he quoted a reference from a case of Sindh High Court, in which Chairman Senate Farooq H Naek had appeared as council for President Asif Ali Zardari in year 1997 in a case against a decision of the then chairman Senate. The court had given the verdict in your favour and had directed the chairman Senate to review his decision over a particular matter, he said. Senator Raza Rabbani taking part in the legal debate on the controversial appointment of leader of the opposition in the Senate suggested that the members both from the treasury as well as opposition benches should not be allowed to switch over once the vacancy for this slot occurred. Chairman Implementation Commission on 18th Amendment, Mian Raza Rabbani while concluding his speech on the issue gave some suggestions to the chairman and what he said these would help the house in overcoming such crisis. He recommended that the independent members within two weeks after the elections should show their association with any political party either sitting on the treasury or opposition benches. Those member who will not show their association, shall be treated as independents and will not avail the privileges enjoyed by members of treasury or opposition benches, he added. An other suggestion of Mian Rabbani was that if some members would form a separate group the matter should be decided by the concerned standing committee. He suggested that once the vacancy of the leader of the opposition in the Upper House of the Parliament fells vacant, then members should not be allowed switch over their benches. Earlier, Rabbani initiating his speech on the controversial issue said that the Chairmans ruling after the conclusion of this legal debate would be historical one that would provide principles to appoint leader of the opposition in the future course of time. So, I will not bring about the factual position of the matter rather I will talk in terms of principles and parliamentary traditions, he added. About a question whether the chair has the powers to review, recall or revisit amend its ruling once it has been announced, he argued that there was no provision or remedy in the rules that chairman could review, recall or revisit its earlier decision. At the same time, there is a basic principle that authority who made the decision had the power to amend or review it, he added saying in the same breath that the house has the power to rescind the resolution already passed by it. He also made it clear to the house that under the Article 69 of Constitution; the internal proceedings of the Parliament could not be taken to the court. Raza Rabbani said that the rules about the majority (either of a single party or the whole opposition benches) were silent on the issue of appointment of leader of the opposition. He also elaborated that words 'opinion saying opinion of the chairman in the appointment of leader of the opposition and his 'discretion were not interchangeable and two different entities pertaining to the appointment of the leader of the opposition. Mian Raza Rabbani said that the concept of single largest opposition party could not be accepted in Santee and only applied to National Assembly where opposition leader was considered to be a shadow prime minister. Whereas in Senate, opposition is considered to be entire opposition group and opposition should reflect all the parties, he viewed adding that the purpose of the bi-cameral parliament was to give equal representations to all the provinces in the Senate. Raza Rabbani argued that the house had been divided into three benches including treasury, opposition and independent benches. He said that independent members were neither part of treasury nor opposition benches but could vote on case-to-case basis but could not avail the privileges or internal facilities related to the treasury or opposition benches. Thus independents have no right to vote in the appointment of leader of the opposition, he remarked. About the PML-Q dissidents, he said that if members of a political defected or withdrew from the party; they continued to be part of that party with the internal dispute and could sit on different benches. He further said that due to policy differences between the PML-Q legislators, some were sitting on opposition benches, party should resolve this intra-party dispute and it did not come in the purview of the chairman to determine their status.