Ministry trying to correct Awan’s ‘wrong’ | Pakistan Today

Ministry trying to correct Awan’s ‘wrong’

The Ministry of Law’s efforts to give legal cover to the ‘illegal generosity’ of former law minister Dr Babar Awan could not succeed on Monday as the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Act, 1973 could not be passed by the National Assembly (NA) due to the absence of Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Maula Bakhsh Chandio.
The draft bill was on the agenda of National Assembly sitting on Monday suggesting substitution of clause 57 of the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act 1973. The law ministers absence meant the draft bill could not be taken up in NA.
The bill proposes the change of existing clause 57 with a new one ‘to give legal cover’ to ‘unauthorised generosity’ of former law minister Dr Babar Awan,who distributed hefty amounts from the national exchequer to bar associations violating set rules and procedures.
The existing clause 57 of the said Act says: “Grants to Bar Councils – The Federal Government, in the case of Pakistan Bar Council, and the Provincial Government, in the case of a Provincial Bar Council, may make such grants-in-aid of the funds to the Bar Council as it may deem fit, having regard to the total number of advocates on the roll of the Council.”
While the amendment which is being introduced by the Law Ministry substitutes the existing clause with the one which says: “Grants to Bar Councils and Bar associations – The Federal Government and the Provincial Governments shall make grants-in-aid to the Pakistan Bar Council, Provincial Bar Councils and the Bar Associations as it may deem fit.” The proposed amendment has already been passed by the Senate.
A source in the ministry of law told Pakistan Today that the audit officials while carrying out the audit on the accounts of the ministry of law and justice for the financial year 2009-10 had found that under rules and regulations, the law ministry could only provide grant-in-aid to Bar Councils and not directly to bar associations while the ministry had disbursed around Rs 220 million among various bar associations.

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