IHC seeks record of Senate debate during Elections Act amendment

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui directed government to submit record in sealed envelope for court use only

Senate of Pakistan. Photo: File 

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) summoned on Monday the record of the debate in Senate during the passing of the amendment in the Elections Act 2017 last year.

Hearing the case into the changes in the oath that lawmakers take regarding the Finality of Prophethood, IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui directed the deputy attorney general to furnish the record tomorrow in a sealed envelope. 

Justice Siddiqui remarked that the court wants to see who voted in favour and against the bill, adding that the record should be admitted in a sealed envelope for his own information not to influence the legislature.

The IHC is hearing the changes in the oath as well as the controversial agreement between the government and memebrs of a religious party that had been protesting in Faizabad area of Islamabad against the oath changes last year. 

Earlier, the government has submitted to the IHC the report of the committee probing changes in the Finality of Prophethood oath.

The committee, headed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Chairman Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, was formed to reveal those responsible for the changes in the oath when the Elections Act 2017 was passed last year. Besides Haq, it included Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Climate Change Minister Mushahidullah Khan.

Late last year, a religious party protested against the amendment in the oath, which was later reversed by the government, and ended its protest after an agreement was reached with the government, which included the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid.

During the protest, Justice Siddiqui had started proceedings over the issue of the controversial amendment as well as the agreement reached between the two sides, noting the role of a serving army officer in the agreement.