The basic structure of 1973 constitution

Basic structure of the 1973 constitution is federal which means that Pakistan will be a federation with four federating units (provinces) i.e, Sindh, Punjab, KPK and Balochistan.

Further the constitution gives parliamentary system of governance to the state with independent judiciary. The constitution and it’s democratic structure further safeguards the social status of it’s subjects (people). After all the features above mentioned the constitution further gives an Islamic touch to the state with some Islamic features which include;

  • Islam shall be the state religon.
  • Defination of Muslim; that a person who believes in Tauheed or oneness of Allah and the prophet hood of Hazrat Muhammad (SAWW) as last prophet of Allah has been described as Muslim.
  • Ahmadi’s were declared non Muslims.
  • Islamic way of life.
  • Composition of Islamic Council

It is very pertinent to mention here a very important judgement of the Supreme Court in relation to the basic structure of the constitution. PLD 2000-SC-869 Zafar Ali Shah vs. General Pervez Musharaf.

There have been many embracing judicial decisions where the judiciary has added to and have come to the help the dictators. The judiciary and judges too have shown concerns in their judgments for their judicial blunders.

The said case PLD 2000-SC-869 is related to General Pervez Musharaf’s coup. After the ouster of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the then prime minister, supreme court was moved through advocate Zafar Ali Shah under article 184(3) of the constitution and it was prayed that the military be sent back to barracks as the concept of military government was alien to the civilized world.

The supreme court not only rejected the petition but also empowered the fourth dictator to himself amend the constitution - a relief which he did not sought even. However it was led;

  • That the president can amend constitution and provide for a provision that was missing, but he cannot alter the basic structure of constitution.
  • And that even if president wants and is of the view that the federal system should be abolished and hence the unitary system be brought, he will have no powers to convert the federation into unitary system.
  • That he cannot switch parliamentary system of government into the presidential system of government.
  • That he cannot influence the judiciary, and judiciary will be independent.
  • That he cannot encroach on social status of people.

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1973 constitution of pakistan

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, also referred to as the 1973 Constitution, is that the supreme law of Pakistan. Drafted by the govt of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, with additional assistance from the country’s opposition parties, it had been approved by the Parliament on 10 April and ratified on 14 August 1973-Source Wikipedia.

Introduction

The 1973 constitution contains 280 articles and seven schedules, and establishes a centralized federal system. The constitution passed thanks to several reasons associated with public, national assembly and parliament. 280 articles containing constitution passed on 10th April 1973 under the governance lately Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto father lately Benazir Bhuttoaftdr separation of Bangladesh or now know as Bangladesh in 1970.before 1973 constitution two more constitution were passed which were 1952 and 1956 constitution.
Main features of 1973 constitution of pakistan:
The 1973 constitution contains 280 articles and seven schedules, and establishes a centralized federal system. The constitution was put forth to correct following weakness in the system of pakistan. Which are:

Federal executive

According to constitution The President is that the head of state, represents the unity of the republic and is elected by an easy majority of an body consisting of members of the 2 houses of federal legislature and of the four provincial legislatures. The President are often removed if he or she is found unfit to carry office thanks to physical incapacity or impeached just in case of violation of the constitution in a joint sitting of the federal houses by votes of not but two-thirds of its total membership.

The President is the boss of state, represents the unity of the republic and is elected by a majority of Temporal college consisting of members of the 2 houses of federal legislature and of the four provincial legislatures. The President can be removed if he or she is found unfit to hold office due to physical incapacity or in case of violation of the constitution in a joint sitting of the federal houses by votes of not but two-thirds of its total membership.

The Prime Minister is elected by members of the lower house of the federal legislature after every election , and other cabinet ministers are appointed by the President consistent with the advice of the Prime Ministers. The executive authority of the federal is exercised within the name of the President by the Prime Minister, or through him, by the federal ministers. The federal cabinet under the Prime Minister aids and advises the President within the exercise of her or his functions. However, within the performance of her or his functions, the President is to act on and in accordance with the recommendation of the cupboard or the Prime Minister, except in cases where the constitution has vested the President with discretionary powers. The Prime Minister is to stay the President informed about all matters of internal or policy , and every one legislative proposals the federal cabinet intends to bring before parliament.

The federal cabinet is collectively responsible to both houses of parliament.

Federal lagislature

Parliament, the federal bicameral legislature, consists of the President, the lower house (National Assembly) and upper house (Senate). Seats in the National Assembly are apportioned on the basis of population total of 342 seats distributed amongst the four provinces, FATA (Federally Administered Tribunal Areas) and therefore the Federal Capital. The federal is assigned to the winning political part for five years after these years election are held again.

The Senate features a total of 104 seats with each of the four provinces having 23 seats (14 general, four women, four technocrats, and one non-Muslim minority seat in each province), thus giving equal representation to every province, eight seats for the FATA, and 4 seats for the Federal Capital, including two general, one woman and one technocrat seat. Elections to fill seats within the Senate allocated to every province are held in accordance with the system of representation by means of the only transferable vote by the provincial legislative assemblies. The Senate features a term of six years, and isn’t subject to dissolution.

both houses of the federal legislature have equal powers altogether legislative subjects under federal jurisdiction leaving money bills aside. A non-money bill can originate in any of the 2 houses and just in case of disagreement between the 2 houses, it’s to be considered during a joint sitting, and if gone by the votes of the bulk of the members present and voting, it’s presented to the President for assent. A money bill can only originate in and be approved by the National Assembly. The Senate can form recommendations on a money bill, which the National Assembly should or shouldn’t follow Thus, passing a money bill is that the exclusive domain of the National Assembly. For any bill to become a law, the assent of president is compulsory. When a bill is presented, the President must either assent to the bill within 10 days or may, if it’s not a money bill, return it to a joint sitting of the parliament with a message to reconsider the bill or any a part of it. Once an easy majority of the joint sitting of parliament approves the bill after such reconsideration, it becomes a law, whether or not the President signs the bill.

Judiciary system

The constitution provides for the federal legislative list with 71 subjects and therefore the provincial legislatures have exclusive powers of law making on subjects not enumerated within the federal legislative list. A provincial assembly may voluntarily delegate to the federal legislature the facility of law making on subjects on which it’s competent to form laws. The executive authority of federal and provincial government extends to matters on which the federal and provincial legislatures respectively have the powers of law-making

The 1973 constitution provides for a hierarchy of the branch with the Supreme Court of Pakistan on top and five High Courts subordinate thereto , each working within the four provinces and the federal capital. Lower courts in each province are under the administrative control of their respective high courts. In addition to being appellate courts in civil and criminal cases, the Supreme Court and the High Courts have original constitutional jurisdiction in certain cases. As a federal court, the Supreme Court has original and exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute between and amongst the federal and provincial governments. However, while deciding such disputes, the Supreme Court’s power is limited to issuing ‘declaratory judgments only’. The constitution also provides for a Federal Shariat Court and vests it with the universal jurisdiction to examine and decide the question whether or not any law or provision of law is repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam.

Conclusion

These three points were the main reason to put forth the new constitution in 1973. According to history, federal lagislature and justice were the main stimulation to put forth a new constitution
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The basic structure of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973

1. Introduction

The Constitution of 1973 is the final Constitution of Pakistan, comprising of 12 parts,1 annexure and 7 schedules of which two schedules, 6th and 7th, are omitted by 18th Amendment Act 2010(x of 2010).

2. Structure of The Constitution

First part of the constitution introduces the republic, its physical and ideological boundaries, Islam being the state religion, and that Objectives Resolution made
substantive part of the constitution as the annexure.

3. Fundamental Rights and policy of the country

Second part deals with the fundamental rights and principles of policy of the country and practically leads the country to a welfare state as its founder Mr. Jinnah had predicted it for. Human rights are addressed in one fine sitting that laws inconsistent with derogation of fundamental rights to be void and then further made it more clear that every person is to be given security by state, safeguards as to arrest and detention, right to fair trial, prohibited slavery and forced labor etc, gave protection against retrospective and double punishment and also self-incrimination, maintained dignity of man and privacy of home whether for extracting evidence of for any other purpose, shall be inviolable.

Right to freedom of assembly, association, trade, business, profession, speech and right to information are recognized. More importantly every citizen is given the right to profess, practice and propagate his religion and also, protection is given against taxation for purposes of any particular religion and to educational institutions that no person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instructions or take part in any religious ceremony or attend religious worship other than his own and that there shall be no discrimination in any religious institution regarding granting of exemption of concession in relation of taxation. Right to acquiring property and its ownership rights are protected, also right to education, non discrimination in respect of access to public places and safeguard against discrimination in services on the ground of race, religion, caste, sex, residence or place of birth.

And then comes the principles of policy which involves leading an Islamic way of life, composition of Islamic Council representing Islamic Ideology and rule that all laws enacted in Pakistan, shall be according to the injunctions of Islam, Quran and Sunnah, and that in the application of this rule it is of utmost importance that Personal Law of any Muslim Sect shall mean the Qura’n and Sunnah as interpreted by that sect and also that this rule shall not affect the personal law of non-Muslim citizens or their status as citizens.

Principles of policy also involve promotion of local government institutions, discouraging parochial, racial, tribal, sectarian and provincial prejudices and ensuring full participation of women in all spheres of national life. It also protects family, minorities, promote social justice and economic well-being and insist on eradication of social evils, recognize right of people to participate in Armed forces, favors the strengthening of bonds with Muslim world and promoting international peace.

4. Federal Government

Third part states about the federation of Pakistan and introduces a bicameral legislative system, where president, his office and his duties towards the nation are explained. The federal government, its cabinet, federal ministers, ministers of state , advisors and other functions of the state are mentioned. The MAJLIS- E-SHOORA (Parliament) composition and dissolution, duration and meetings of it, the national assembly and senate, legislative and financial procedures are perfectly described.

5. Provincial Government

Fourth part deals with the system of provinces, regarding appointment and powers of governors, constitution of provincial assembly and dissolution of it, financial procedure regarding provincial consolidation fund and public account, its custody and annual budget.

6. Federation and Provinces

Fifth and sixth part comes with the description about relationship between federation and provinces regarding distribution of legislative and administrative powers, also the distribution of water, electricity, natural gas, broadcasting and telecasting, revenue, borrowing and audit, maintaining accounts, property, contracts, liabilities and suits.

7. Judiciary

Seventh part introduces the Judiciary system of the country, establishment and jurisdiction of courts in general and of supreme courts, high courts and federal shariat court in particular.

8. Elections, Emergency and Amendments

Eighths, ninth, tenth and eleventh part of the Constitution of Pakistan deal with elections and and its conduct, with emergency provisions and with amendment of constitution if ever needed.

9) Miscellaneous

Twelfth part deals with services, armed forces, tribal areas (erstwhile), Immunity of certain personnel of the government, national language and other special provisions and definitions.