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Overview of Article 54 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of Pakistan, adopted in 1973, serves as the nation’s guiding document and democratic processes. Of its many articles, Article 54 plays an essential role by regulating summoning and prorogation of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament). This blog post delves deeply into Article 54’s fundamental components and role in shaping Pakistani parliamentary democracy.
Article 54 States
54. Summoning and prorogation of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).
- The President may, from time to time, summon either House or both Houses of 100[Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] 100 in joint sitting to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit and may also prorogue the same.
- There shall be at least three sessions of the National Assembly every year, and not more than one hundred and twenty days shall intervene between the last sitting of the Assembly in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session:
Provided that the National Assembly shall meet for not less than one hundred and thirty working days in each year.
Explanation: In this clause, “working days” includes any day on which there is a joint sitting and any period, not exceeding two days for which the National Assembly is adjourned.
- On a requisition signed by not less than one-fourth of the total membership of the National Assembly, the Speaker shall summon the National Assembly to meet, at such time and place as he thinks fit, within fourteen days of the receipt of the requisition; and when the Speaker has summoned the Assembly only he may prorogue it.
Key Points of Article 54 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Summoning and Prorogation by the President: According to Article 54(1), Pakistan’s President has the power to summon either or both houses of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) at times and places convenient to themselves, and prorogue it temporarily; this provision ensures that executive authority plays an active role in parliamentary processes.
- Minimum Number of National Assembly Sessions: Article 54(2) requires that the National Assembly convene at least three sessions annually, with no more than 120 days between each sitting and its first date in the next. This ensures that legislative business can be carried out regularly in an organized fashion.
- Minimum Working Days: Article 54(2) mandates that the National Assembly should meet for no fewer than 130 working days every year, defined as any day in which joint sittings take place and any period not exceeding two days during which it adjourns for consideration of legislative work. This condition emphasizes the significance of regular participation by this legislative body in legislative affairs.
- Requisition by Members: Article 54(3) provides members the right to request that the Speaker of the National Assembly convene a session by signing at least one-fourth of all total membership of the Assembly and giving fourteen days notice, but only then prorogue the Assembly as appropriate.
Crux of Article 54 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 54 forms the cornerstone of Pakistan’s parliamentary democracy, providing guidance for summoning and prorogation of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament). It details procedures and requirements regarding executive branch’s role in convening Parliament into session or adjourning its meetings as well as ensuring regularity and minimum working days required to maintain an active legislative body.
The Pakistani political system reflects a delicate balance of powers through President Mamnoon Hussain’s involvement in convening and proroguing Parliament, underscoring its importance in maintaining an effectively functioning government. His involvement emphasizes coordination between executive and legislative branches for proper functioning.
Setting a minimum number of National Assembly sessions and working days reaffirms a core democratic principle: that parliament remains active in representing its constituents’ needs and responding appropriately.
Furthermore, the provision for members to requisition sessions illustrates the democratic nature of parliamentary processes: individual members can invoke them whenever necessary to ensure critical issues can be dealt with quickly.
Conclusion: Article 54 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 54 of Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution serves as an enduring testament of its commitment to democratic governance, transparency, and accountability. It defines the summoning and prorogation of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), guaranteeing cooperation between executive and legislative branches as well as minimum number of sessions and working days per parliamentarian to facilitate democratic engagement with pressing national issues.
Requisition by members further enhances Pakistan’s democratic parliamentary system, providing flexibility and responsiveness. As Pakistan embarks upon its democratic journey, Article 54 serves as an empowering guiding light that shapes political and legislative processes; this symbolises our nation’s dedication to democratic governance, the rule of law, and citizens voicing their opinion through their elected representatives in Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).