Heads of legislature demand immunity

Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate, Speaker and Deputy Speaker National Assembly, Speakers and Deputy Speakers of all the four Provincial assemblies have also demanded immunity under article-248 of the Constitution but Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms ignored it.

According to sources Balochistan Assembly Speaker Nawab Aslam Bhotani during two days-speakers held earlier this month in Lahore had raised the issue and demanded not to take any criminal action against chairman and deputy chairman senate, speaker and deputy speaker National Assembly, speakers and deputy speakers of all provincial assemblies till they occupied their offices and granted them immunity under article-248 of the Constitution, which is enjoyed by President, Prime Minister, governors and federal and provincial ministers.

All the speakers, sources said, supported the demand, saying, speakers, deputy speakers, chairman and deputy chairman senate occupy constitutional designations and, therefore, it is inevitable that they should have immunity.

The speakers, sources said, were of the view that all speakers perform duties as presiding officer and have been head of their respective secretariat.

The speakers’ conference had also proposed that a sub-section be inserted in article-248 to grant immunity to speakers, deputy speakers, and chairman and deputy chairman of senate.

In the light of conference’s decision, the National Assembly’s secretariat has also written a letter to Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms in which it demanded to grant the immunity, which is enjoyed presently by President, to chairman and deputy chairman senate and speakers and deputy speakers of the assemblies.

The committee, sources added, ignored the issue and refused to make amendment in article 248 of the Constitution, because majority of members had opposed the demand and said that if the immunity was given to speakers then others will demand it tomorrow.

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