Table of Contents
Overview of Article 196 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of Pakistan, adopted in 1973, serves as the foundational legal document for the country. Among its numerous articles, Article 196 holds particular importance, defining the protocol for the appointment of Acting Chief Justices under specific circumstances. This provision is crucial for maintaining the continuity of judicial functions in the High Courts.
Article 196 States
196. Acting Chief Justice
- At any time when-
- the office of Chief Justice of a High Court is vacant, or
- the Chief Justice of a High Court is absent or is unable to perform the functions of his office due to any other cause,
the President shall appoint one of the other Judges of the High Court, or may request one of the Judges of the Supreme Court, to act as Chief Justice.
Key Points of Article 196 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Vacancy in the Office of Chief Justice: Should an office be vacant at any High Court, Article 196 empowers the President to appoint one of the other Judges on that Court as Acting Chief Justice ensuring continuity and smooth transition in justice delivery.
- Absence or Inability of the Chief Justice: Should a Chief Justice of a High Court become absent or otherwise unable to perform their duties due to any cause, Article 196 provides flexibility. The President can appoint an acting Chief Justice from among other Judges of that High Court or request one of its Supreme Court judges act as acting Chief Justice during that High Court’s absence.
Crux of Article 196 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 196 serves as a safeguard mechanism, upholding the principle of judicial continuity within the framework of the Constitution. By allowing for the temporary appointment of an Acting Chief Justice in specific situations, it ensures that the High Courts can continue functioning effectively, even in the absence of their Chief Justices.
The provision reflects the framers’ foresight in anticipating scenarios where the leadership of a High Court may be temporarily disrupted, emphasizing the paramount importance of an uninterrupted and stable judicial system.
Conclusion: Article 196 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 196 of the Constitution of Pakistan plays a pivotal role in maintaining the stability and functionality of the judicial system. By delineating the process for appointing an Acting Chief Justice in the face of vacancies or the Chief Justice’s temporary absence, the article safeguards the fundamental principle of justice delivery.
The 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, with its nuanced provisions like Article 196, not only establishes the legal framework for governance but also exhibits a profound commitment to the rule of law. As the legal landscape evolves, this constitutional provision remains a cornerstone, reflecting the nation’s dedication to a robust and unwavering judicial system.
Article 196 serves as a powerful symbol of Pakistan’s commitment to upholding law and order and efficiently running its judiciary system. Looking deeper, each provision serves a specific function in contributing towards creating an equitable society.