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Overview of Article 116 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Nestled within the Constitution of Pakistan, Article 116 serves as a crucial guidepost in the legislative journey of Bills passed by the Provincial Assembly. This provision meticulously outlines the steps involved in obtaining the Governor’s assent, transforming a proposed Bill into a binding Act of the Provincial Assembly. The intricacies of this article not only shape the legislative landscape but also establish a systematic approach to the enactment of laws in the country.
Article 116 States
116. Governor’s assent to Bills
- When a Bill has been passed by the Provincial Assembly, it shall be presented to the Governor for assent.
- When a Bill is presented to the Governor for assent, the Governor shall, within ten days,
- assent to the Bill; or
- in the case of a Bill other than a Money Bill, return the Bill to the Provincial Assembly with a message requesting that the Bill, or any specified provision thereof, be reconsidered and that any amendment specified in the message be considered.
- When the Governor has returned a Bill to the Provincial Assembly it shall be reconsidered by the Provincial Assembly and, if it is again passed, with or without amendment, by the Provincial Assembly, by the votes of the majority of the members of the Provincial Assembly present and voting, it shall be again presented to the Governor and the Governor shall give his assent within ten days, failing with such assent shall be deemed to have been given.
- When the Governor has assented or is deemed to have assented to a Bill, it shall become law and be called an Act of Provincial Assembly.
- No Act of a Provincial Assembly, and no provision in any such Act, shall be invalid by reason only that some recommendation, previous sanction or consent required by the Constitution was not given if that Act was assented to accordance with the Constitution.
Key Points of Article 116 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Governor’s Assent Process: Governor Assent Process: Article 116 provides a mechanism to obtain the Governor’s assent for Bills passed by Provincial Assemblies and submitted to him or her for signature. Once passed by the Provincial Assembly, these Bills are then presented for his or her signature and sent on for his assent before heading off for passage in Parliament.
- Governor’s Options: Within 10 days, the Governor has two choices available to her: either to assent to or return with certain recommendations a bill he or she does not like to the Provincial Assembly for reconsideration.
- Reconsideration by Provincial Assembly: When returned by the Governor with recommendations, the Provincial Assembly is bound to reconsider it and any subsequent passage with or without amendments leads to its re-presentation to him for approval.
- Final Assent: Upon re-presentation, the Governor is obligated to give assent within ten days. Failure to do so within the specified time results in the assent being deemed to have been given.
- Transformation into Law: Once approved or presumed approved by the Governor, a bill officially becomes law and is considered an Act of Provincial Assembly.
- Validity Safeguard: Article 116 includes a safeguard clause, ensuring that Acts and provisions are not invalidated if they lack recommended constitutional elements. This validation is contingent upon the Act receiving assent in line with constitutional provisions.
Crux of Article 116 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The crux of Article 116 lies in its meticulous orchestration of the legislative process, balancing the powers of the Provincial Assembly with the oversight of the Governor. By establishing a structured sequence of actions, this provision ensures a transparent, accountable, and systematic approach to the enactment of laws.
It underscores the significance of the Governor’s role in the legislative framework, making the process of obtaining assent a critical juncture in the life of a Bill. Simultaneously, the article acknowledges the need for reconsideration, providing a mechanism for addressing potential concerns or recommendations from the Governor.
The safeguard clause encapsulates the broader principle that adherence to constitutional procedures, including obtaining assent, is paramount. It emphasizes that the absence of certain recommended elements, when assent is accorded within constitutional boundaries, does not compromise the validity of the resulting law.
Conclusion: Article 116 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 116 emerges as a linchpin in the constitutional architecture of Pakistan, guiding the transformation of legislative intent into actionable law. It not only delineates a clear path for Bills from the Provincial Assembly to attain legal status but also establishes a system that incorporates checks and balances. The provision’s nuanced approach ensures that the Governor’s role is integral to the legislative process while also safeguarding the autonomy of the Provincial Assembly.
As we navigate the constitutional contours of Pakistan, Article 116 stands as a testament to the framers’ vision for a democratic, accountable, and procedurally sound governance framework. It encapsulates the delicate dance between the executive and legislative branches, creating a tapestry that upholds the rule of law and ensures that the enacted laws are a reflection of a collective, constitutionally guided will.