Table of Contents
Overview of Article 154 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of Pakistan, enacted in 1973, serves as the supreme legal document of the country. Among its many provisions, Article 154 stands as a pivotal component, outlining the functions and rules of procedure for a significant entity within the governance structure.
Article 154 States
154. Functions and rules of procedure
- The Council shall formulate and regulate policies in relation to matters in Part II of the Federal Legislative List and shall exercise supervision and control over related institutions.
- The Council shall be constituted within thirty days of the Prime Minister taking oath of office.
- The Council shall have a permanent Secretariat and shall meet at least once in ninety days:
- Provided that the Prime Minister may convene a meeting on the request of a Province on an urgent matter.
- The decisions of the Council shall be expressed in terms of the opinion of the majority.
- Until Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) makes provision by law in this behalf, the Council may make its rules of procedure.
- Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) in joint sitting may from time to time by resolution issue directions through the Federal Government to the Council generally or in a particular matter to take action as Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) may deem just and proper and such directions shall be binding on the Council.
- If the Federal Government or a Provincial Government is dissatisfied with a decision of the council, it may refer the matter to Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) in a joint sitting whose decision in this behalf shall be final.
Key Points of Article 154 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Council’s Responsibilities (Clause 1): The Council is responsible for formulating and regulating policies related to matters specified in Part II of the Federal Legislative List. It exercises supervision and control over institutions related to these matters.
- Constitution of the Council (Clause 2): Within thirty days of the Prime Minister assuming office, the council, as detailed in Article 154, is to be constituted. This swift establishment underscores the importance accorded to its role.
- Meetings and Secretariat (Clause 3): The council is mandated to convene regularly, with a minimum frequency of once in ninety days. The provision of a permanent secretariat ensures a stable administrative foundation for the council’s operations.
- Decision-Making Process (Clause 4): Decisions within the council are structured to reflect the majority opinion, emphasizing the democratic essence of its functioning.
- Rules of Procedure (Clause 5): Until the Parliament enacts specific laws, the council possesses the authority to establish its own rules of procedure, affording it a degree of autonomy.
- Parliamentary Directions (Clause 6): Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) can issue resolutions directing the council’s actions. The binding nature of these directions underscores the collaborative interplay between these two crucial pillars of governance.
- Dispute Resolution Mechanism (Clause 7): To address dissatisfaction, a mechanism is established wherein the Federal or Provincial Government can refer a matter to the Parliament in a joint sitting, with the Parliament’s decision being deemed final.
Crux of Article 154 of the Constitution of Pakistan
At its core, Article 154 establishes a council tasked with navigating and steering the legislative landscape of Pakistan. It serves as a dynamic hub where policies are crafted, decisions are made, and oversight is exercised over institutions integral to the execution of legislation falling within the ambit of Part II of the Federal Legislative List.
The constitution’s foresight in allowing the council to establish its own rules of procedure during the interim period reflects a pragmatic approach, enabling the efficient functioning of this entity as the legislative landscape evolves.
Moreover, the provision for parliamentary directions ensures a symbiotic relationship between the council and the Parliament, promoting a collaborative approach towards national governance. The mechanism for dispute resolution further reinforces the constitutional commitment to a fair and just governance structure.
Conclusion: Article 154 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 154 emerges as a cornerstone within the constitutional framework of Pakistan, delineating the powers, responsibilities, and modus operandi of a crucial council. Its provisions underscore the dynamic nature of governance, providing a blueprint for effective collaboration between various arms of the state.
The 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, through Article 154, not only defines the roles and responsibilities of the council but also lays the foundation for a resilient and adaptable governance structure. As the nation progresses, this constitutional provision stands as a testament to the foresight and adaptability embedded in Pakistan’s constitutional framework.