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Senate OKs parts of draft law cutting AGO power

Senate OKs parts of draft law cutting AGO power

Jan 15, 2013 - 19:26

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon):  The Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon (upper house) on Tuesday discussed and approved some clauses of a draft law on composition and powers of the Attorney General Office (AGO).

The proposed law removes the word "Loya" from the Pashtu meaning of AGO and restrains the body from overseeing government affairs, something that lawmakers argued fell in the legislature's jurisdiction.

Senate's relevant panel heads presented the bill for a debate, but legislators were able to discuss only a few clauses due to lack of time. The Judicial Commission head, Mohiuddin Munsif, told the assembly the word "Loya" had to be deleted from the AGO under the Constitution.

A majority of members raised their green cards in agreement. They also approved amendments to the AGO powers, restricting it from monitoring affairs of other public-sector departments.

The proposed measure says the AGO job is to implement a court verdict and detect, investigate and prevent crime. The members insisted the AGO had no authority to monitor state organs and it should be stopped from doing that.

They argued only parliament reserved the right under the Constitution to look into governmental affairs.

Chairman Fazli Hadi Muslimyar ruled he was opposed to the AGO authority of monitoring or investigating public-sector affairs, saying its duty was to defend the government in courts and implement verdicts.

"Monitoring is the jurisdiction of parliament. We will not surrender our authority to other departments," Muslimyar vowed.

However, some MPs expressed their opposition to the majority decision, insisting the AGO should continue with the oversight power.

"If we wrest that authority from the AGO, where would this power go, which department it is being shifted to?" asked Senator Abdul Wahab.



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