Senate Amends Rule to Punish Members for Disclosing In-Camera Proceedings

ISLAMABAD, January 25, 2018: The Senate on Thursday approved an amendment in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business 2012, suggesting punishment for the person divulging or disclosing information of the in-camera proceedings, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.

Tabled by Leader of the House, the House passed a motion to insert para 255A in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business which says, “where a member or any person specifically participating in any in-camera proceedings, divulges or discloses any information regarding any part of the proceedings or comments or speeches or opinions expressed therein, such member of other person, as the case may be, shall be required to appear before the House Business Advisory Committee, and after being given an adequate opportunity to explain the disclosure attributed to him, may be suspended for a term not exceeding thirty consecutive sittings of the House.”

Following are key observations of the proceedings during the fourth sitting of 272nd session:

 Members’ Participation

  • The Senate met for two hours and 44 minutes.
  • The sitting started at the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
  • The Chairman presided over the sitting for an hour and 35 minutes while rests of the proceedings were chaired by the Deputy Chairman.
  • Prime Minister did not attend the sitting.
  • The Leader of the House attended the sitting for an hour and 23 minutes.
  • The Leader of the Opposition was present for 61 minutes.
  • As many as five (5%) lawmakers were present at the outset and 19 (18%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
  • The parliamentary leaders of MQM, PPPP, PTI, PML, PML-F, PkMAP and NP attended the sitting.
  • One minority lawmaker was present.


  • Introduced by Minister for Law and Justice, the House passed the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
  • State Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs presented the annual report of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan for the financial year 2015-16.
  • Minister for Parliamentary Affairs presented reports on Biometric Verification Machines (BVMs) and Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) Pilot Project in Bye Elections of constituencies (NA-120 Lahore-III and NA-4 Peshawar-IV).
  • Chairman, Standing Committee on Interior presented reports on the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and regarding a report of the Standing Committee on National Food Security pertaining to fertilizers and movement of Urea in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
  • On behalf of the Chairman Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges, a member of the committee presented report regarding the breach of privilege of the House due to inappropriate reply by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Interior, in response to a Calling Attention Notice.

 Representation and Responsiveness

  • The House took up two Calling Attention Notices regarding the promotion policy 2016-17 of the National Bank of Pakistan and delay in opening of New Islamabad International Airport.
  • The House passed four motions under Rule 194 (1) granting extension to Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges for presentation of its as many reports on various issues raised in the House.
  • The extension was also granted to Standing Committee on Interior under Rule 194 (1) for presenting a report.
  • The House took up 10 out of 39 Starred Questions for answers during the Question Hour. The lawmakers asked 23 supplementary questions as well.
  • The Chair rejected two adjournment motions appearing on the agenda while one was withdrawn by its respective mover.
  • Minister for States and Frontier Regions reported on the status of implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Standing Committee on States and Frontier Regions regarding transfer of Political Agents in various Agencies of FATA.


  • ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
  • The attendance of lawmakers is available on the website.

This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceeding conducted by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). Errors and omissions are excepted