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Overview of Article 230 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of Pakistan, adopted in 1973, stands as the supreme law of the land, defining the country’s political structure and guiding principles. Within its intricate framework, Article 230 assumes a significant role, outlining the functions and responsibilities of the Islamic Council. This council plays a crucial part in advising legislative bodies, ensuring that laws align with the principles of Islam as enunciated in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
Article 230 States
230. Functions of Islamic Council
- The functions of the Islamic Council shall be,
- to make recommendations to Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and the Provincial Assemblies as to the ways and means of enabling and encouraging the Muslims of Pakistan to order their lives individually and collectively in all respects in accordance with the principles and concepts of Islam as enunciated in the Holy Quran and Sunnah;
- to advise a House, a Provincial Assembly, the President or a Governor on any question referred to the Council as to whether a proposed law is or is not repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam;
- to make recommendations as to the measures for bringing existing laws into conformity with the Injunctions of Islam and the stages by which such measures should be brought into effect; and
- to compile in a suitable form, for the guidance of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and the Provincial Assemblies, such Injunctions of Islam as can be given legislative effect.
- When, under Article 229, a question is referred by a House, a Provincial Assembly, the President or a Governor to the Islamic Council, the Council shall, within fifteen days thereof, inform the House, the Assembly, the President or the Governor, as the case may be, of the period within which the Council expects to be able to furnish that advice.
- Where a House, a Provincial Assembly, the President or the Governor, as the case may be, considers that, in the public interest, the making of the proposed law in relation to which the question arose should not be postponed until the advice of the Islamic Council is furnished, the law may be made before the advice is furnished:
Provided that, where a law is referred for advice to the Islamic Council and the Council advises that the law is repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam, the House or, as the case may be, the Provincial Assembly, the President or the Governor shall reconsider the law so made.
- The Islamic Council shall submit its final report within seven years of its appointment, and shall submit an annual interim report. The report, whether interim or final, shall be laid for discussion before both Houses and each Provincial Assembly within six months of its receipt, and Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and the Assembly, after considering the report, shall enact laws in respect thereof within a period of two years of the final report.
Key Points of Article 230 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Recommendations to Legislative Bodies: The primary function of the Islamic Council is to make recommendations to Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and Provincial Assemblies. These recommendations aim to guide Muslims in ordering their lives in accordance with Islamic principles.
- Advisory Role: Article 230 empowers the Islamic Council to advise legislative bodies, the President, or a Governor on whether a proposed law aligns with Islamic injunctions. This ensures a thorough examination of legislation through the lens of Islamic principles.
- Alignment of Laws with Islam: The Council is tasked with recommending measures to bring existing laws into conformity with Islamic injunctions. This involves a meticulous review of the legal landscape to ensure harmony with Islamic principles outlined in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
- Compilation of Islamic Injunctions: Another crucial role of the Islamic Council is to compile Islamic injunctions in a form suitable for legislative guidance. This compilation serves as a reference for lawmakers, facilitating the incorporation of Islamic principles into legislation.
Crux of Article 230 of the Constitution of Pakistan
At its core, Article 230 serves as a bridge between the constitutional and Islamic realms in Pakistan. It emphasizes the integration of Islamic principles into the legal fabric of the country, fostering a system where legislation aligns with the moral and ethical values outlined in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
The advisory role of the Islamic Council stands out as a unique feature, ensuring that proposed laws undergo a rigorous examination for adherence to Islamic principles. This process safeguards against the creation of laws that may be deemed repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam.
The time-bound nature of the Council’s activities, as outlined in Article 230, reflects the importance of timely legislative action. The provision for both interim and final reports, with specific timelines for discussion and enactment, underscores the commitment to incorporating Islamic principles into the legal framework within a reasonable timeframe.
Conclusion: Article 230 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 230 of Pakistan’s Constitution serves as an essential pillar in creating a legal system that mirrors Islamic values and principles. Through its mandate in Article 230, an Islamic Council plays an indispensable role in providing guidance for legislative bodies, advising laws to adhere to Islamic tenets, and aligning existing laws with these religious injunctions.
The comprehensive nature of Article 230 reflects the commitment of the framers of the constitution to harmonize the legal and religious dimensions of the state. It establishes a dynamic framework that encourages continuous evaluation and adjustment of laws to stay in accordance with the evolving societal norms while remaining rooted in Islamic principles.