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Overview of Article 137 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of Pakistan, adopted in 1973, serves as the supreme law of the land and provides a framework for governance while outlining various entities’ powers within Pakistan. Article 137 in particular serves as an important pillar to govern Executive Authority vested in Provinces. This blog post delves into the intricacies of Article 137, shedding light on its significance and impact on the governance structure of Pakistan.
Article 137 States
137. Extent of executive authority of Province
Subject to the Constitution, the executive authority of the Province shall extend to the matters with respect to which the Provincial Assembly has power to make laws:
Provided that, in any matter with respect to which both Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and the Provincial Assembly of a Province have power to make laws, the executive authority of the Province shall be subject to, and limited by, the executive authority expressly conferred by the Constitution or by law made by Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) upon the Federal Government or authorities thereof.
Key Points of Article 137 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Constitutional Boundaries: The article explicitly states that the executive authority of the Province is subject to the Constitution. This underscores the primacy of the Constitution in guiding the actions and decisions of provincial authorities.
- Matters within Provincial Jurisdiction: Article 137 delineates the scope of the executive authority, specifying that it extends to matters over which the Provincial Assembly has the power to make laws. This grants provinces the autonomy to govern and legislate on issues within their jurisdiction.
- Dual Legislative Powers: A crucial aspect of Article 137 deals with situations where both the federal Parliament and the Provincial Assembly possess legislative powers on a specific matter. In such cases, the executive authority of the Province is limited by the Constitution and laws enacted by the federal Parliament for the Federal Government.
Crux of Article 137 of the Constitution of Pakistan
At its core, Article 137 seeks to establish a harmonious balance between federal and provincial powers. It acknowledges the autonomy of Provinces in certain matters while ensuring that conflicts are avoided through a clear delineation of authority. By subjecting the executive authority of Provinces to the Constitution and federal laws, Article 137 acts as a safeguard against potential jurisdictional disputes.
The provision reflects the framers’ intent to create a robust constitutional structure that accommodates the diversity within the country. It recognizes that certain matters are best addressed at the provincial level, while others necessitate a unified, federal approach. This balance is essential for fostering effective governance and maintaining the unity of the Pakistani state.
Conclusion: Article 137 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 137 of Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution plays an essential role in shaping its governance landscape. Its careful drafting demonstrates an intention towards creating a federal structure which respects provincial autonomy while still facilitating coordinated national decision-making on issues of importance. When we navigate its intricate provisions, Article 137 stands out as evidence of its framers’ foresight in creating a constitutional framework which can accommodate its changing needs over time.
This provision, with its emphasis on constitutional adherence and balanced distribution of powers, remains an integral component of Pakistani society and governance. Legal scholars, policymakers, and citizens use it as an authoritative reference point when trying to understand what underlies Pakistan’s constitutional order.