Hasba Bill to ‘change ineffective system’
By Iqbal Khattak
PESHAWAR: The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) is mandated to change the ineffective present system with Hasbah and brushed aside all apprehension on the draft law that civil society and opposition parties voiced, said NWFP Senior Minister Sirajul Haq on Friday.
“Other provinces have provided mohtasib (ombudsman) office at provincial level. We are providing it at tehsil level,” Siraj told a press conference. Law Secretary Amir Gulab briefed the journalists on the Hasbah Bill.
Amir said the basic question about Hasbah was whether it was in clash with the Constitution or not. “Under Article 143 [C] of the Constitution, a provincial government can make legislation about anything that is not in the federal and concurrent legislative list. So, the provincial ombudsman office is not in both lists,” he said. “Mohtasib is not real translation of ombudsman. The office of ombudsman can initiate action against the government departments. But Hasbah is a combination of complaints and accountability. The Constitution says about society’s reformation and Article 131 [A] speaks about the same,” he added. “The Constitution says steps should be taken to reform society and under the same article of the Constitution the government is bound to reform society.”
He said many believed that some aspects of the draft bill would violate if the provincial assembly passed it. He made a 1996 report of the Islamic Ideology Council (IIC) as ground for bringing in Hasbah. “To order people’s lives in accordance with injunctions of Islam, Hasbah is introduced,” he said.
Amir said it was the MMA’s duty to take steps in the light of 1996 IIC report containing recommendations for Islamisation that parliament had not passed yet. “I cannot understand the criticism of the MMA government. When it is doing what the (IIC 1996) report suggests then what is wrong,” he added.
Amir got angry when a journalist told him that when he was judge most of his judgments were overruled by the Peshawar High Court and what guarantee he could give that his new experiment would be successful. “Don’t discuss these with me. I delivered judgments according to my conscience,” Amir said.
Amir had little to say when a senior journalist asked “It makes no sense that chief minister is made a component authority to appeal against any verdict of the ombudsman when he will be appointed on the advice of the chief minister.”