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A nation’s Constitution forms the cornerstone of its legal system and defines rights and protections granted to its citizens. Pakistani’s constitution plays an instrumental role in upholding individual rights while assuring justice is administered fairly; Article 12 from Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 deals with protection from retrospective punishment; in this blog post we’ll look further into it, its key points, and its lasting importance for maintaining principles of legal fairness and legal equality.
Overview of Article 12 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 12 is an integral provision in Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution designed to protect individuals from retroactive punishment, thus guaranteeing fair justice.
Article 12 States
12. Protection against retrospective punishment
- No law shall authorize the punishment of a person:-
- for an act or omission that was not punishable by law at the time of the act or omission; or
- for an offence by a penalty greater than, or of a kind different from, the penalty prescribed by law for that offence at the time the offence was committed.
- Nothing in clause (1) or in Article 270 shall apply to any law making acts of abrogation or subversion of a Constitution in force in Pakistan at any time since the twenty-third day of March, one thousand nine hundred and fifty-six, an offence.
Exception for Constitutional Abrogation
It also includes an exception, noting that the prohibitions in clause (1) do not apply to any law making acts of abrogation or subversion of a Constitution in force in Pakistan since March 23, 1956, an offense.
Key Points of Article 12 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 12 provides protection from retroactive punishment: It ensures that individuals cannot be penalized for actions that did not constitute offenses at the time they occurred or which had penalties higher than what were prescribed by law at that time of occurrence.
Legal Fairness: This provision emphasizes the significance of legal fairness, making clear that laws cannot be implemented retrospectively to harm individuals.
Exception for Constitutional Matters: The exception in Article 12 recognizes the unique nature of acts of abrogation or subversion of a Constitution and addresses them separately within the legal framework.
Crux of Article 12 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The essence of Article 12 is the commitment of Pakistan to uphold principles of justice and legal fairness. By preventing retrospective punishment, it protects individuals from arbitrary or unfair legal actions, ensuring that justice is administered in a transparent and equitable manner.
Conclusion: Article 12 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 12 of Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution acts as an indispensable safeguard of justice and legal fairness, asserting that individuals cannot be penalized for actions not considered illegal at the time or with penalties exceeding legal limits. This provision ensures a just and equitable legal system which safeguards citizens rights while upholding rule of law principles. As Pakistan moves ahead on its development journey, Article 12 will continue to ensure legal system operates with integrity and fairness – while upholding rule of law by protecting citizen’s rights and dignity.