29th September 2022. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director filed an application in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Bill titled “Bureau of Rehabilitation Act”, published in the Gazette on 9th September 2022 and placed on the order paper of the parliament on 23rd September 2022.
The long title of the said Bill describes it as “an act to provide for the establishment of a bureau to be called and known as the bureau of rehabilitation; to regulate its powers, duties and functions and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”. While the Petitioners recognized the need to integrate a process of rehabilitation into the criminal justice system, they noted that the impugned regulations violate several of the Constitutionally guaranteed Fundamental Rights, of the Petitioners as well as of the general public. The Petitioners contended that the process of rehabilitation should be done lawfully, with due respect and concern for due process standards, while respecting constitutionally guaranteed rights and liberties.
The Petitioners maintained that certain provisions in the Bill are inconsistent with Articles 10, 11, 12 (1), 13 (1), 13(2), 13(3), 14 A, 14 (1) in the Fundamental Rights Chapter of the Constitution. In view of the inconsistencies with the provisions of the Fundamental Rights chapter noted above, the Petitioners stated that the Bill has a prejudicial impact on the sovereignty of the People, and cannot be enacted into law except with the approval of the People at a Referendum, in addition to a 2/3 majority of the whole number of Members of Parliament voting in its favour.