Khosa refuses to issue ordinance on CM s advice
Posted on: Thu July 07, 2011
LAHORE - Against the backdrop of ongoing rift between the Centre and Punjab government over devolved departments, Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa Wednesday refused to issue and ordinance on the advice of Punjab chief minister, maintaining that it was a federal subject out of the domain of Punjab government.
The chief minister wanted adaptation of the Drugs Act of 1976, earlier enacted by the National Assembly, through promulgation of an ordinance on the plea that the subjects of drugs and medicines were part of the then Concurrent Legislative list, and since the said list had been omitted as a result of 18th amendment, these subjects had become residuary subjects and the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab had the authority to legislate on those subjects in terms of Article 142(c) of the Constitution. It has been pleaded further in the chief minister s advice to the governor that since Punjab Assembly is not in session, and circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action, the governor should promulgate the ordinance.
While rejecting CM s advice, the governor has quoted federal government s notification No. 4-9/2011-Min. I, dated 29. 06 2011, regarding devolution of seven federal ministries; and also referred to Item No 11 of the said notification to establish that the subject of legislation pertaining to drugs, medicines and other related subjects has been assigned to the proposed Drug Regulatory Agency which will work under the Cabinet Division.
According to the said notification, the administration of Drug Act, 1976 and poisons and dangerous drugs have also been assigned to the Drug Regulatory Agency which will function under the federal government.
The governor has noted that the said notification was issued consequent upon deliberations / decisions of the Implementation Commission constituted under Clause (9) of Article 270AA of the Constitution and with the approval of the Cabinet by the Government of Pakistan, Cabinet Division, Thus the matters falling within the domain of the Drugs Act, 1976, being covered within the Federal purview, the issuance of the proposed Ordinance would not fall in the realm of the Province , the governor has observed.
He has further noted that Article 128 of the Constitution preconditions the issuance of ordinances by the Governor subject to his satisfaction that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action, are lacking in this case. The governor wrote that he did not see any reason for bypassing the procedure of legislation though the Provincial Assembly as no such propelling exigencies exist, which would render irreparable loss if the Ordinance was not issued.
In response to CM s stance that a void had been created after the devolution of the Ministry of Health, and the situation required urgent action to fill the void, the governor has stated that the claimed vacuum assented for issuance of an ordinance stood abridged by the afore-referred notification of the Federal Government. Besides, the 18th Amendment came into force on 20. 04. 2010 whereafter the Punjab Assembly continued functioning. But neither any Bill relating to the said matter was presented nor the claimed vacuum was deciphered warranting any malfunctioning under the Drugs Act or the subsidiary regulatory authorities . Khosa said the superior courts had also not approved bypassing the collective wisdom of the people through their representatives to legislate in the respective Assemblies.
Courtesy : Nation