ISLAMABAD - The opposition parties Monday submitted a requisition to summon the Senate claiming it wanted to discuss the legality of the ordinances that have not been laid in the Upper House by the ruling party.

The opposition that is in majority in the 104-member house has requisitioned the house for second time after the government did not called the sitting of the house for the last around four months.

The requisition signed by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq besides over 30 lawmakers of the opposition has been submitted with the Senate Secretariat under Article 54 (3) read with Article 61 of the Constitution,

Under the Constitution, the chairman Senate is bound to summon the session “on a requisition signed by not less than one-fourth of the total membership” of the house.

The requisition says that the session should be summoned to discuss the six point agenda including “legality and constitutionality of the Ordinances that have been laid in the National Assembly and not in the Senate of Pakistan as required by Article 89 of the Constitution” besides debating the “security and political developments in the region, especially in the Occupied Kashmir.”

Wants to debate legality of ordinances not laid in upper house

The other agenda include discussion on the “continuing political victimization of the opposition, gas and power scarcity in the domestic and industrial sectors, prince hike resulting in the unbearable burden on the common man and devastating daily occurrences of crime against the children in Pakistan.”

The government has not summoned the regular session of Senate for the last around four months and the decision will create a constitutional crisis for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government as the house under the constitution has to meet at least 110 days during each parliamentary year.

In this connection, Senate Secretariat through a letter written to the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has said that “during the parliamentary year 2019-2020, the Senate has completed 56 days so far and it will have to meet for further 54 days to fulfill the Constitutional requirement.”

“The 295th Session has not been held as per the approved provisional calendar. Therefore, it will be difficult to complete the total working days of the sessions of the Senate for the current parliamentary year,” reads the letter available with The Nation. It further added that the ministry may initiate a summary for the summoning of the fresh session at earliest.

The on-going parliamentary year of the Senate would end on March 12 of next year making it impossible for the government to fulfil the constitutional requirement.

The opposition says that it is a complete constitutional violation if the Senate did not meet for the minimum days as required under the Constitution. It claims that government is fearful that the opposition being majority in the house would disapprove all presidential ordinances it has promulgated during the last couple of months.

Under the Constitution, any house of the parliament can reject or disapprove any ordinance through a resolution passed by a majority of vote.

The government had summoned the last regular session of the house on August 29 that was prorogued on September 3, 2019.

After this, Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, in exercise of the powers conferred by clause 3 of Article 54 of the Constitution, had summoned the house on November 5 on the requisition of opposition parties that was prorogued on November 15.