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Constitution of 1956

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Part 2: Fundamental Rights

Part 2 consisted of Articles 3 to 22. It defined the fundamental rights of the citizens, and stated that no law can be made in violation to these rights. The courts were given the authority to repeal such laws. One notable exception to the fundamental rights were any rules made for the Armed Forces and law enforcing agencies. Some of these rights appeared again in the 1962 Constitution, where the courts were initially not given the authority to enforce them, but were later authorized through an amendment to the Constitution. The 1973 Constitution revived the spirit of the 1956 Constitution with regards to the fundamental rights.


PART 2: Fundamental Rights

Article 3

In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires, "the State" includes the Federal Government, Parliament, the Provincial Governments, the Provincial Legislatures, and all local or other authorities in Pakistan.

Article 4

(1) Any existing law, or any custom or usage having the force of law, in so far as it is inconsistent with the provisions of this Part, shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be void.

(2) The State shall not make any law which takes or abridges the rights conferred by this Part, and any law in contravention of this clause shall, to the extent of such contravention, be void.

(3) Nothing in this Article shall apply to any law relating to the members of the Armed Forces, or the Forces charged with the maintenance of public order, for the purpose of ensuring the proper discharge of their duties or the maintenance of discipline among them.

Article 5

(1) All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.

(2) No person shall be deprived of life or liberty save in accordance with law.

Article 6

No person shall be punished for an act which was not punishable by law when the act was done, nor shall any person be subjected to a punishment greater than that prescribed by law for an offence when the offence was committed.

Article 7

(1) No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest, nor shall he be denied the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice.

(2) Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest, excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the magistrate, and no such person shall be detained in custody beyond the said period without the authority of a magistrate.

(3) Nothing in clauses (1) and (2) shall apply to any person -

(a) who for the time being is an enemy alien; or
(b) who is arrested or detained under any law providing for preventive detention.

(4) No law providing for preventive detention shall authorize the detention of a person for a period exceeding three months unless the appropriate Advisory Board has reported before the expiration of the said period of three months that there is, in its opinion, sufficient cause for such detention.

Explanation: In this clause "the appropriate Advisory Board" means, in the case of a person detained under a Central Act or an Act of Parliament, a Board consisting of persons appointed by the Chief justice of Pakistan, or, in the case of a person detained under a Provincial Act or an Act of a Provincial Legislature, a Board consisting of persons appointed by the Chief Justice of the High Court for the Province.

(5) When any person is detained in pursuance of an order made under any law providing for preventive detention, the authority making the order shall, as soon as may be, communicate to such person the grounds on which the order has been made and shall afford him the earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order:

Provided that the authority making any such order may refuse to disclose facts which such authority considers it to be against the public interest to disclose.

Article 8

Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the security of Pakistan, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

Article 9

Every citizen shall have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of public order.

Article 10

Every citizen shall have the right to form associations or unions, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of morality or public order.

Article 11

Subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the public interest, every citizen shall have the right -

(a) to move freely throughout Pakistan and to reside and settle in any part thereof,

(b) to acquire, hold and dispose of property.

Article 12

Every citizen, possessing such qualifications, if any, as may be prescribed by law in relation to his profession or occupation, shall have the right to enter upon any lawful profession or occupation, and to conduct any lawful trade or business:

Provided that nothing in this Article shall prevent -

(a) the regulation of any trade or profession by a licensing system, or

(b) the carrying on, by the Federal or a Provincial Government or by a corporation controlled by any such Government, of any trade, business, industry or service, to the exclusion, complete or partial, of other persons.

Article 13

(1) No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or take part in any religious ceremony, or attend religious worship, if such instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own.

(2) No religious community or denomination shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination in any educational institution maintained wholly by that community or denomination.

(3) No citizen shall be denied admission to any educational institution receiving aid from public revenues on the ground only of race, religion, caste, or place of birth:

Provided that nothing in this Article shall prevent any public authority from making provision for the advancement of any socially or educationally backward class of citizens.

(4) In respect of any religious institution, there shall be no discrimination against any community in the granting of exemption or concession in relation to taxation.

(5) Every religious community or denomination shall have the right to establish and maintain educational institutions of its own choice, and the State shall not deny recognition to any such institution on the ground only that the management of such institution vests in that community or denomination.

Article 14

(1) In respect of access to places of public entertainment or resort, not intended for religious purposes only, there shall be no discrimination against any citizen on the ground only of race, religion, caste, sex or place of birth.

(2) Nothing in this Article shall prevent the making of any special provision for women.

Article 15

(1) No person shall be deprived of his property save. In accordance with law.

(2) No property shall be compulsorily acquired or taken possession of save for a public purpose, and save by the authority of law which provides for compensation therefore and either fixes the amount of compensation or specifies the principles on which and the manner in which compensation is to be determined and given.

(3) Nothing in this Article shall affect the validity of-

(a) any existing law, or

(b) any law permitting the compulsory acquisition or taking possession of any property for preventing danger to life, property or public health, or

(c) any law relating to the administration or acquisition of any property which is or is deemed to be evacuee property under any law, or

(d) any law providing for the taking over by the State for a limited period of the management of any property for the benefit of its owner.

(4) In clauses (2) and (3), "property" shall mean immovable property, or any commercial or industrial undertaking, or any interest in any such undertaking.

Article 16

(1) No person shall be held in slavery.

(2) All forms of forced labour are prohibited, but the State may require compulsory service for public purposes.

Article 17

(1) No citizen otherwise qualified for appointment in the service of Pakistan shall be discriminated against in respect of any such appointment on the ground only of race, religion, caste, sex, residence or place of birth:

Provided that for a period of fifteen years from the Constitution Day, posts may be reserved for persons belonging to any class or area to secure their adequate representation in the service of Pakistan.

Provided further that in the interest of the said service, specified posts or services may be reserved for members of either sex.

(2) Nothing in clause (1) shall prevent any Provincial Government or any local or other authority from prescribing, in relation to any class of service under that Government or authority, conditions as to residence in the Province prior to appointment under that Government or authority.

Article 18

Subject to law, public order and morality -

(a) every citizen has the right to profess, practise and propagate any religion; and

(b) every religious denomination and every sect thereof has the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.

Article 19

Any section of citizens having a distinct language, script or culture shall have the right to preserve the same.

Article 20

Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form forbidden and shall be declared by law to be an offence.

Article 21

No person shall be compelled to pay any special tax the proceeds of which are to be spent on the propagation or maintenance of any religion other than his own.

Article 22

(1) The right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred by this Part is guaranteed.

(2) The Supreme Court shall have power to issue to any person or authority, including in a appropriate cases any Government, directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part.

(3) The right guaranteed by this Article shall not be suspended except as otherwise provided by the Constitution.

(4) The provisions of this Article shall have no application in relation to the Special Areas.

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Source: Documents and Speeches on the Constitution of Pakistan
By G. W. Choudhury (1967). Green Book House, Dacca (East Pakistan)


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