LAHORE - Punjab Assembly on Thursday approved as law the Punjab Police Ordinance (Amendment) Bill 2013 and Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture, Multan, 2013 bill (MNSUA) while rejecting all except one amendment brought in by the Opposition.
The thin Opposition strongly opposed naming of the University after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and pressed naming it after Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Interestingly, the Opposition did not boycott when their motion on the university name was rejected in the first hearing but in the third on the same score it staged a walk out just minutes before the Treasury carried the bill in its absence.
Opposition pleaded that the varsity should be given the name of any national hero, saint or a late renowned personality and not of a living person having political inclinations.
While quoting the former Presidents Ayub Khan and Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said precedents are available that the names of the living rulers were given to the institutions.
He said Nawaz Sharif was not an ordinary politician but one who is pride of the Islamic world for making Pakistan first nuclear power of the Islamic state.
He said a university after the name of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah already existed in the country so another university could not be named after him. Meanwhile, the Punjab Assembly passed the amendment to allow 50 per cent recruitment of SI in the Police Department directly through Punjab Public Service Commission, 50 per cent from the service on the promotion–25 per cent of them from among the bachelor degree holders.
The Opposition demanded 50 per cent promotion based appointment of the SIs only from among those who held the graduate degree. Their motion to this effect failed to get through.
The approved amended law required the Provincial Police Officer (IG) to transfer investigation of a case within 30 days after a decision to this effect has been taken by the RPO, after obtaining opinion of the standing Review Board.
Fresh investigation would be entrusted to the officer or a team of officers to rank of the previous or the higher than that.
The House approved the Opposition amendment that the officer would be needed to record reasons for ordering of fresh investigation.
On MNSUA, the Treasury rejected as many as 18 amendment motions which also included referring the Bill to the public opinion, constituting University disciplinary committee, students union and giving representation to the student union leader in the syndicate.
The House also disapproved the Opposition-wanted addition of new seven clauses to the effect of defining pension of teachers and officers on retirement after 25 of years of service, or at 60 years of age; for serving show-cause notice before action against them; getting spending of the university audited by the Auditor General and presenting the report before the House, collaborating the university with national and international institution under students exchange programme, and others.
The Law Minister on the said motions said that clause 4 of the bill captioned ‘functions of the university’ covered all of the Opposition demands while syndicate of this semi- autonomous institution was authorised to set up disciplinary committee or allow students union.
He said the syndicate was empowered to conduct audit of the university while Auditor General was externally empowered to carry out this exercise about every public department including the university.
After about five hours of debate the House, presided over by Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, transacted the said bills into law.
On the Opposition side, PTI’s Dr Murad Raas, Sibtain Khan, Mrs Saadia Suhail Rana and JI MPA Dr Waseem Akhtar took part in the debate.