Women’s inheritance rights: Senate rejects constitutional amendment bill – Pakistan

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Islamabad: The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice on Wednesday rejected the “Constitutional Amendment Act 2021 (insert Article 24A)” with the aim of making the right of inheritance of women as a fundamental right in line with the principles of Islam, while making it constitutional It is called difficult and recommended to improve existing laws to ensure that inheritance is not denied to women.

The Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice met on Wednesday, chaired by Senator Syed Ali Zafar.

The committee dealt with the constitutional amendment law 2021 (insertion of Article 24A), which was introduced by Senator Saadia Abbasi in the Senate session on July 12, 2021 on the right of inheritance of women, according to which no woman in Pakistan may be deprived of her share of the inheritance.

Senator Abbasi said Islam has prescribed well-defined proportions for the male and female descendants of a deceased.

The Koran says clearly: “Men should have a share in what parents and relatives leave behind, and women should have a share in what parents and relatives leave behind.” Islamic law (Sharia) requires women to inherit immovable and movable property but the practice is to deny women their share of inheritance, particularly in relation to landed property, where their entire entitlement is often denied and male heirs tend to enjoy the right to receive almost all of the deceased’s property.

It is an indisputable reality, and an unjustified practice, that it has become the norm for women either not to receive legal inheritance or to waive their legal rights.

The purpose of this change is to recognize, declare and enforce the right of inheritance of women as a fundamental right in accordance with the principles of Islam and Articles 23 and 24 of the Pakistani Constitution.

She went on to say that if the aforementioned change were approved, it would allow women to refer directly to the Pakistani Supreme Court on inheritance matters.

Senator Azam Khan Swati believed that such laws already exist and that inheritance need not be listed as a fundamental right.

Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar supported the law, saying the amendment “strengthens the state’s commitment to protecting women’s inheritance rights.”

Committee chairman Syed Ali Zafar commented that the change mentioned was “constitutionally difficult”.

It’s a great concept, but existing laws should be improved and further strengthened to ensure that inheritance is not denied to women.

Senator Farooq H. Naek also rejected the said change, saying that relevant laws already exist and that we need to work towards better implementation of existing laws.

After careful deliberation, the committee rejected the draft law by a majority.

The committee also looked at the 2021 Constitutional Amendment Act (amendment of Article 9) proposed by Senator Abbasi at the Senate session on July 12, 2021 regarding the right to bail and personal liberty that anyone charged with a crime is , bail may not be withheld except in accordance with the law, excessive bail payments, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual penalties may not be imposed.

Senator Abbasi said that “the vital importance of personal freedom in a civilized world cannot be denied. A person’s deprivation of liberty must be based on the most weighty considerations relevant to the welfare goals of society, as provided for in Article (s) 9, 14 and 25 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The Pakistani Supreme Court stated: “The purpose of the bail is to ensure that the defendant is present at the trial.

This goal is neither punitive nor preventive. Hence, imprisonment and deprivation of liberty cannot be described as anything else than punishment, unless there is no less restrictive alternative to ensure that the accused will pass their trial when asked to do so.

This constitutional amendment seeks to provide bail as a “fundamental right” to ensure that personal freedom is not restricted, except in accordance with procedures established by law to strike a balance between the right to individual freedom and in the interests of society. “

Senator Farooq H. Naek believed that the right to bail need not be included in the constitutional fundamental right.

He said relevant laws should be changed, not the constitution.

Ali Zafar said that the inclusion of the right to bail in the basic right would water down the existing constitutional regulations. This is a good concept, but the relevant laws should be considered for amendment rather than the constitution itself.

After careful deliberation, the committee rejected the draft law by a majority.

The committee then considered the consideration of Senator Abbasi’s Constitutional Amendment Act 2021 (insertion of Article 38A) in the Senate session of July 12, 2021 regarding the identification, preservation, conservation, restoration and access for all to Pakistan’s national cultural heritage sites that the State identifies and declares the national cultural heritage and takes appropriate measures to preserve and preserve the national cultural heritage, ensure access for all to the national cultural heritage sites and take all necessary measures against all human and natural hazards to which they are exposed.

Senator Abbasi explained the reasons for this change, explaining that “Pakistan is endowed with a large number of ancient sites and historical structures that make up its national heritage. These historical treasures create links to the past and present, making the country a treasure trove of centuries of heritage.

As the custodian, it is up to the state of Pakistan to stabilize them and preserve them for future generations. Such historical sites, which make up Pakistan’s national heritage, are of educational, cultural and social value to all and contribute to human development. To this end, the constitution must provide for the measures to be taken by the state to identify, protect / preserve, preserve and restore these sites and ensure access for all ”.

Ali Zafar said the change was very important and praised Senator Abbasi for bringing up such an important issue.

After careful deliberation and some editorial changes, the committee unanimously approved the aforementioned bill.

The committee examined the 2021 constitutional amendment (insertion of Article 17A and amendment of Articles 51 and 106) tabled by Senator Abbasi in the Senate session on July 12, 2021 with regard to the right to vote.

The committee unanimously decided to postpone discussion of the bill to the next meeting of the committee in order to seek an opinion from the Pakistani Electoral Commission on the matter.

The committee dealt with the 2021 Constitutional Amendment Act (amendment of Article 130) proposed by Senators Kauda Babar, Naseebullah Bazai and Ahmed Khan in the Senate session on July 12, 2021 in relation to the right to speak and otherwise participate in the meetings or on one of their committees, but are not entitled to vote by virtue of this article.

Senator Kauda Babar said that under Rule 93 (2) in conjunction with Rule 57 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, an advisor to the Prime Minister is entitled to negotiate either house or a joint session or committee of parliament.

However, the advisers to the Prime Ministers do not have this right. This change is proposed in order to ensure the participation of the state advisors in the negotiations of the respective state assemblies.

After careful deliberation, the committee unanimously approved this change.

Senators Naseebullah Bazai, Farooq H Naek, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Walid Iqbal, Musadik Masood Malik, Samina Mumtaz Zehri, Saadia Abbasi and officials from the Ministry of Law and Justice attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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