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Overview of Article 142 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan 1973, Article 142 stands as a pivotal guidepost in the nation’s legal architecture, delineating the intricate balance of legislative powers between the federal and provincial tiers of governance. This article plays a crucial role in defining the subject-matter over which each entity, the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and Provincial Assemblies, holds legislative authority. As we embark on an exploration of Article 142, we unravel the complexities that underpin the distribution of legislative powers in Pakistan.
Article 142 States
142. Subject-matter of Federal and Provincial laws
Subject to the Constitution-
- Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) shall have exclusive power to make laws with respect to any matter in the Federal Legislative List;
- Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and a Provincial Assembly shall have power to make laws with respect to criminal law, criminal procedure and evidence.
- Subject to paragraph (b), a Provincial Assembly shall, and Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) shall not, have power to make laws with respect to any mattter not enumerated in the Federal Legislative List.
- Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) shall have exclusive power to make laws with respect to all matters pertaining to such areas in the Federation as are not included in any Province.
Key Points of Article 142 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Constitutional Hierarchy: Article 142 establishes a hierarchical structure, placing the Constitution of Pakistan at the pinnacle. The legislative powers granted to the federal and provincial entities are expressly subject to the provisions of the constitution, ensuring adherence to the foundational legal document.
- Federal Exclusivity: The provision of exclusive federal power over matters in the Federal Legislative List underscores the need for uniformity in certain laws that impact the entire nation. This ensures consistency in legal frameworks across diverse regions.
- Balanced Collaboration: The shared authority between the federal and provincial levels, particularly in criminal law matters, reflects a balanced approach to governance. Collaboration on critical issues like criminal justice acknowledges the importance of both national consistency and regional nuances.
- Provincial Autonomy: The autonomy granted to Provincial Assemblies to legislate on matters not in the Federal Legislative List signifies a commitment to regional autonomy. This recognition allows provinces to address local issues and tailor laws to suit the unique needs of their residents.
- Federal Oversight: The exclusive federal power over areas not affiliated with any province serves as a mechanism for federal oversight and intervention in regions that may not fall under the direct purview of a Provincial Assembly.
Crux of Article 142 of the Constitution of Pakistan
At its core, Article 142 embodies the constitutional vision of a harmonious coexistence between federal authority and provincial autonomy. It navigates the intricate tapestry of legislative powers, acknowledging the need for a unified legal framework while respecting the diversity of Pakistan’s regions. The article’s crux lies in its ability to strike a delicate balance, fostering collaboration where needed and granting autonomy where warranted.
Conclusion: Article 142 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 142 of the Constitution of Pakistan serves as a cornerstone in the nation’s legal edifice, delineating the boundaries of legislative powers with precision and foresight. As Pakistan continues to evolve, this article remains a beacon, guiding the nation towards a governance model that respects both national unity and regional diversity.
Article 142 not only defines the scope of legislative authority but also encapsulates the constitutional spirit of collaboration and autonomy. Its provisions ensure that the legal fabric of Pakistan is robust, adaptive, and reflective of the multifaceted needs of a nation rich in diversity. As we reflect on the intricacies of legislative powers outlined in Article 142, it becomes evident that this constitutional provision is not just a legal guideline but a testament to the democratic principles that underpin the governance of Pakistan.