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Overview of Article 87 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Enshrined within the constitutional tapestry of Pakistan, Article 87 delineates the organizational structure and staffing regulations for the Secretariats of the National Assembly and the Senate. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Article 87, unraveling its provisions, key points, and the pivotal role it plays in fostering parliamentary autonomy.
Article 87 States
87. Secretariats of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).
- Each House shall have a separate Secretariat
Provided that nothing in this clause shall be construed as preventing the creation of posts common to both Houses.
- Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) may by law regulate the recruitment and the conditions of service of persons appointed to the Secretarial staff of either House.
- Until provision is made by Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) under clause (2), the Speaker or, as the case may be, the Chairman may, with the approval of the President, make 198 rules regulating the recruitment and the conditions of service, of persons appointed to the secretarial staff of the National Assembly or the Senate.
Key Points of Article 87 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Separate Secretariats: Article 87(1) unequivocally mandates that each House of the Majlis-e-Shoora shall maintain a distinct Secretariat. This provision ensures the autonomy of each House in managing its internal affairs.
- Common Posts Provision: Despite the stipulation for separate Secretariats, Article 87(1) includes a provision allowing for the creation of posts common to both Houses. This flexibility recognizes potential shared staffing needs while maintaining the overall independence of each House.
- Regulation of Recruitment and Conditions of Service: Article 87(2) grants the Majlis-e-Shoora the authority to enact laws regulating the recruitment and conditions of service for Secretarial staff in either House. This provision underscores the importance of parliamentary independence in staffing matters.
- Transitional Rule-Making Power: Until the enactment of parliamentary laws under Article 87(2), Article 87(3) allows the Speaker or Chairman, with the President’s approval, to make rules governing the recruitment and conditions of service for the Secretarial staff. This serves as a transitional provision until comprehensive legislation is in place.
Crux of Article 87 of the Constitution of Pakistan
At its core, Article 87 reflects a careful balance between ensuring the autonomy of each House and recognizing the potential for shared staffing needs. By mandating separate Secretariats, the Constitution safeguards the independent functioning of the National Assembly and the Senate. Simultaneously, the provision for common posts allows for practical flexibility, acknowledging the potential for shared administrative roles.
The empowerment of the Majlis-e-Shoora to regulate recruitment and conditions of service aligns with the principles of parliamentary sovereignty. It ensures that the staffing of the Secretariats adheres to standardized and transparent procedures, fostering efficiency and accountability in parliamentary operations.
Conclusion: Article 87 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 87 of the Constitution of Pakistan plays a pivotal role in shaping the organizational structure and staffing regulations for the parliamentary Secretariats. It not only mandates the autonomy of each House through separate Secretariats but also allows for adaptability through the provision for common posts.
Understanding the intricacies of Article 87 provides valuable insights into the constitutional mechanisms designed to nurture effective parliamentary functioning. By emphasizing parliamentary independence in staffing matters, this provision contributes to the transparent, accountable, and efficient operation of the National Assembly and the Senate.