PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly cannot impose penalties on any official breaching privilege of its members due to lack of related rules, TNN has learnt.
The provincial assembly has not been able to make rules for judicial committee since 1988, which has paralysed the committee whose job is to punish government officials found guilty of breaching the privilege of members of the assembly.
Under the KP Assembly Powers, Immunities, and Privileges Act 1988, the breach of privilege of any member of the assembly will be punishable and the act defines 31 types of breaches for which the members and officials of the assembly can take a matter to the assembly for proceedings against officials. In case, an official or officials are found guilty of breaching the privilege, he is liable to be punished for six months imprisonment and fine up to Rs5,000 maximum or both.
The privilege committee is headed by the deputy speaker of the KP Assembly and as per proceedings of the committee, a member brings a matter to the assembly which is referred to the committee by the house, if the privilege motion is accepted.
The committee can summon anyone and after hearing the person the committee decides either the privilege has been breached or not. If breached then that committee refers the case to judicial committee for punishment.
Under sub section 3 of section 26 of KP Provincial Assembly Powers, Immunities, and Privileges Act 1988, judicial committee suggests the punishment and send the case to district magistrate. The district magistrate will send case to first class magistrate for punishment.
However, due to non-availability of rules, the judicial committee is toothless. An official of the assembly told to this correspondent on the condition of anonymity that in the history of assembly no case has been referred to judicial committee up till now. Two of the judicial committee members MPA Zahir Shah Toru and MPA Tufail Anjum are not aware of the role of the committee. Tufail Anjum told that he didn’t attend the briefing regarding that committee that is why he is not fully in picture about the role of the committee, while Zahir Shah said that he doesn’t know the mandate of the committee. Secretary KP Assembly Nasrullah Khattak also admitted, when contacted, that without framing rules the committee can’t punish anyone.