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The Constitution of Pakistan, first implemented in 1973, serves as an guiding document that details its governance structure and process. One key provision within its pages – Article 47 – details how Presidents may be removed or impeached and reinstated into office. We’ll explore its significance by dissecting key aspects and understanding its effect on Pakistan’s democratic landscape.
Overview of Article 47 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 47 of Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution is an essential provision that outlines the process for impeaching or ousting its President. It establishes grounds on which this can occur as well as steps that need to be taken for fair and transparent impeachment proceedings.
Article 47 States
47. Removal or impeachment of President.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in the Constitution, the President may, in accordance with the provisions of this Article, be removed from office on the ground of physical or mental incapacity or impeached on a charge of violating the Constitution or gross misconduct.
- Not less than one-half of the total membership of either House may give to the Speaker of the National Assembly or, as the case may be, the Chairman written notice of its intention to move a resolution for the removal of, or, as the case may be, to impeach, the President; and such notice shall set out the particulars of his incapacity or of the charge against him.
- If a notice under clause (2) is received by the Chairman, he shall transmit it forthwith to the Speaker.
- The Speaker shall, within three days of the receipt of a notice under clause (2) or clause (3), cause a copy of the notice to be transmitted to the President.
- The Speaker shall summon the two Houses to meet in a joint sitting not earlier than seven days and not later than fourteen days after the receipt of the notice by him.
- The joint sitting may investigate or cause to be investigated the ground or the charge upon which the notice is founded.
- The President shall have the right to appear and be represented during the investigation, if any, and before the joint sitting.
- If, after consideration of the result of the investigation, if any, a resolution is passed at the joint sitting by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) declaring that the President is unfit to hold the office due to incapacity or is guilty of violating the Constitution or of gross misconduct, the President shall cease to hold office immediately on the passing of the resolution.
Key Points of Article 47 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 47 encapsulates several key points that define the process of presidential removal or impeachment:
Grounds for Removal: A president may be removed on two grounds–physical or mental incapacity and impeachment charges related to violating the Constitution or engaging in gross misconduct.
Starting the Process: Initiation of Process: To initiate either removal or impeachment proceedings, at least half of each House’s members must give written notice to either Speaker of National Assembly or Chairman of Senate specifying grounds for removal or impeachment.
Transmittal of Notice: Once received by the Chairman, any notification should be forwarded directly to the Speaker.
Communication with the President: It is required of Speaker to send a copy of notice received within three days to President for consideration and approval.
Joint Sitting: A joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate may be called by its Speaker within seven to fourteen days after receiving notice to do so.
Investigation: At a joint sitting, an investigation can take place into any allegations or charges being presented against someone.
Right to Representation: The President has the right to appear and be represented during an investigation and prior to a joint sitting.
Resolution for Removal: If during the joint sitting a resolution with two-thirds majority approval is passed to remove a President due to incapacitating illness, violating constitutional rules or gross misconduct, then immediately they cease holding office.
Crux of Article 47 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The core of Article 47 lies in its role as a safeguard in the democratic process. It provides a comprehensive framework for the removal or impeachment of the President, ensuring a thorough and fair process. This provision underscores the importance of preserving the democratic principles of the country and maintaining the integrity of the highest office in the land.
Conclusion: Article 47 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 47 of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan is a critical provision that defines the process for the removal or impeachment of the President. It establishes clear grounds, a rigorous procedure, and the requirement of a two-thirds majority vote in Parliament to effectuate the President’s removal. In the intricate web of Pakistan’s constitution, Article 47 is a cornerstone that upholds democratic values and ensures accountability in the highest office of the nation.
With a focus on the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan and Article 47, this provision serves as a guardian of the nation’s democratic principles, reflecting Pakistan’s commitment to constitutional integrity and governance.