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Constitution of 1956


Part 12: General Provisions

This part of the constitution dealt with Islamic provisions, appointment of special councils and boards, provisions relating to states and rulers, scheduled castes and backward classes, miscellaneous, interpretation of the constitution, its commencement and repeal of the previous constitutions.

Part 12: General Provisions

Chapter 1: Islamic Provisions

Article 197

(1) The President shall set up an organization for Islamic research and instruction in advanced studies to assist in the reconstruction of Muslim society on a truly Islamic basis.

(2) Parliament may by Act provide for a special tax to be imposed upon Muslims for defraying expenses of the organization set up under clause (1), and the proceeds of such tax shall not, notwithstanding anything in the Constitution, from part of the Federal Consolidated Fund.

Article 198

(1) No law shall be enacted which is repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, hereinafter referred to as Injunctions of Islam, and existing law shall be brought into conformity with such Injunctions.

(2) Effect shall be given to the provisions of clause (1) only in the manner provided in clause (3).

(3) Within one year of the Constitution Day, the President shall appoint a Commission-

(a) to make recommendations-

(i) as to the measures for bringing existing law into conformity with the Injunctions of Islam, and

(ii) as to the stages by which such measures should be brought into effect; and

(b) to compile in a suitable form, for the guidance of the National and Provincial Assemblies, such Injunctions of Islam as can be given legislative effect.

The Commission shall submit its final report within five years of its appointment, and may submit any interim report earlier. The report, whether interim or final, shall be laid before the National Assembly within six months of its receipt, and the Assembly after considering the report shall enact laws in respect thereof.

(4) Nothing in this Article shall affect the personal laws of non-Muslim citizens, or their status as citizens, or any provision of the Constitution.

Explanation: In the application of this Article to the personal law of any Muslim sect, the expression "Quran and Sunnah" shall mean the Quran and Sunnah as interpreted by that sect.

Chapter 2: Appointment of special councils and boards

Article 199

(1) As soon as may be after the Constitution Day, the President shall constitute a National Economic Council, hereinafter to be called the Council, consisting of four Ministers of the Federal Government, three Ministers of each Provincial Government, and the Prime Minister, who shall be ex officio Chairman of the Council.

(2) The Council shall review the overall economic position of the country and shall, for advising the Federal and Provincial Governments, formulate plans in respect of financial, commercial and economic policies; and in formulating such plans, the Council shall aim at ensuring that uniform standards are attained in the economic development of all parts of the country.

(3) The Council may, from time to time, appoint such committees or expert bodies as it considers necessary for the discharge of its functions.

(4) In the implementation of the aforesaid plans, the President shall take suitable steps to decentralise the administration by setting up, in each Province, necessary administrative machinery to provide the maximum convenience to the people; and expeditious disposal of Government business and public requirements.

(5) Nothing in this Article shall affect the exercise of the executive authority of the Federation or the Provinces.

(6) The Council shall submit every year to the National Assembly a report on the results obtained and the progress made in the achievement Qf its objects, and copies of the reports shall also be laid before each Provincial Assembly.

Article 200

(1) The President shall appoint a Board for each Province consisting of representatives of the Federal Government and the Government of the Province, to advise the Federal Government on matters relating to Posts and Telegraphs in the Province.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in the Constitution, recruitment to posts and services, other than Class I, in the Posts and Telegraphs Department in a Province shall be made from amongst persons domiciled in that Province.

Chapter 3: Provisions relating to states and rulers

Article 201

Notwithstanding anything in the Constitution, the President may, by Order, make provision for representation in the National Assembly of the territories mentioned in sub-clauses (b), (c) and (d) of clause (2) of Article, 1, provided that equality of representation between East Pakistan and West Pakistan is preserved.

Article 202

(1) Where, under any agreement made at any time before or after the Constitution Day between the Government of Pakistan and the Ruler of a State which at that time was in accession with Pakistan, the payment of any sums free of tax has been guaranteed or assured by the Government of Pakistan to that Ruler as his privy purse, those sums shall be charged on the Federal Consolidated Fund and shall be paid out of that Fund to the Ruler free of tax.

(2) Where the territories of any such Ruler as aforesaid are comprised within a Province, there shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of that Province, and be paid out of that Fund to the Federal Government, any sum which that Government has paid to the Ruler under clause (1).

(3) In the exercise of any power to make laws, and in the exercise of the executive authority of the Federation or a Province, due regard shall be had to the guarantees or assurances given under any such agreement as is referred to in clause (1) with respect to the personal rights, privileges and dignities of the Ruler of any such State as is referred to in that clause.

Article 203

When the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir decide to accede to Pakistan, the relationship between Pakistan and the said State shall be determined in accordance with the wishes of the people of that State.

Chapter IV: Scheduled castes and backward classes

Article 204

The castes, races and tribes, and parts or groups within castes, races and tribes which, immediately before the Constitution Day constituted the Scheduled Castes within the meaning of the Fifth Schedule to the Government of India Act, 1935, shall, for the purposes of the Constitution, be deemed to be the Scheduled Castes until Parliament by law otherwise provides.

Article 205

The Federal and Provincial Governments shall promote, with special care the educational and economic interests of the Scheduled Castes and backward classes in Pakistan, and shall protect them from social injustice and exploitation.

Article 206

(1) The President may appoint a Commission to investigate the conditions of Scheduled Castes and backward classes in Pakistan and make recommendations as to the steps to be taken and grants to be made by the Federal backward classes, or Provincial Governments to improve their conditions.

(2) The Commission appointed under clause (1) shall investigate die metiers referred to them and submit a report to the President with such recommendations as the Commissions thinks fit, and copies of the report shall be laid before the National Assembly and the Provincial Assemblies.

Article 207

(1) There shall be a Special Officer for the Scheduled and backward classes in Pakistan, to be appointed by the President.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Special Officer to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes and backward classes by Article 205, to investigate the extent to which any recommendations of the Commission appointed under Article 206 are carried out, and to report this findings to the President at such intervals as the President may direct and the President shall cause all such reports to be laid before the National Assembly.

Chapter 5: Miscellaneous

Article 208

(1) No title, honour or decoration shall be conferred by the State on any citizen, but the President may award decorations in recognition of distinguished military or public service.

Explanation: In this clause "the State" has the same meaning as in Part II.

(2) No citizen of Pakistan shall accept any title, honour or decoration from any foreign State except with the approval of the President.

Article 209

The President shall have power to grant pardons, reprieves and respites, and to remit, suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court, tribunal or authority established by law.

Article 210

(1) Notwithstanding anything in the Constitution, special provisions the President may, by public notification, direct that, for a period not exceeding three months from such date as may be specified in the notification-

(a) any law made by Parliament, or by a Provincial Legislature shall not apply to any major port or aerodrome, or shall apply thereto subject to such exceptions and modifications as may be specified in the notification; or

(b) any existing law cease to have effect in so far as it applies to any major port or aerodrome, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before the aforesaid date, or shall in its application to such port or aerodrome, have effect subjet to such exceptions or modifications as may be specified in the notification.

Explanation: In this Article "aerodrome" means an aerodrome as defined in any law relating to airways, aircraft or air navigation.

Article 211

(1) Parliament shall by law provide for the determination of the area of the Federal Capital, and until such a law is passed the area which immediately before the Constitution Day was comprised in the Capital of the Federation shall continue to be the Federal Capital.

(2) The administration of the Federal Capital shall vest in the President who may, by Order, make such provision as he may deem necessary or proper-

(a) for its government and administration;

(b) with respect to the laws which are to be in force therein;

(c) with respect to the jurisdiction, expenses or revenues of any court exercising the jurisdiction of a High Court therein;

(d) with respect to apportionments and adjustments, of and in respect of assets and liabilities;

(e) for authorizing expenditure from the revenues of the Federation; and

(f) with respect to other supplemental, incidental and consequential matters.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in the Constitution, Parliament shall have power to make laws for the Federal Capital with respect to matters enumerated in the Provincial List and matters not enumerated in any List in the Fifth Schedule, other than matters relating to the High Courts.

Article 212

The remuneration and other privileges of a person holding the office of President, Minister of the Federal or a Provincial Government, Speaker or Deputy Speaker of the National or a Provincial Assembly, Governor, Comptroller and Auditor General, member of a Public Service Commission, Election Commissioner, or Regional Election Commissioner, or member of the Delimitation Commission shall not be varied to his disadvantage during this term of office.

Article 213

Neither the President nor the Governor of a Province, shall be answerable to any court for the exercise of powers and performance of duties of his office, or for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those duties:

Provided that nothing in this Article shall be construed as restricting the right of any person to bring appropriate proceedings against the Federal Government or a Provincial Government.

Article 214

(1) The State languages of Pakistan shall be Urdu and Bengali:

Provided that for the period of twenty years from the Constitution Day, English shall continue to be used for all official purposes for which it was used in Pakistan immediately before the Constitution Day, and Parliament may by Act provide for the use of English after the expiration of the said period of twenty years, for such purposes as may be specified in that Act.

(2) On the expiration of ten years from the Constitution Day, the President shall appoint a Commission to make recommendations for the replacement of English.

(3) Nothing in this Article shall prevent a Provincial Government from replacing English by either of the State languages for use in that Province before the expiration of the said period of twenty years.

Article 215

A person elected or appointed to any office mentioned in the Second Schedule shall before entering upon the office make and subscribe an oath or affirmation in accordance with that Schedule.

Article 216

(1) The Constitution or any provision thereof may be amended or repealed by an Act of Parliament if a Bill for that purpose is passed by a majority of the total number of members of the National Assembly, and by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the members of that Assembly present and voting, and is assented to by the President.

Provided that if such a Bill provides for the amendment or repeal of any of the provisions contained in Articles 1, 31, 39, 44, 77, 106, 118, 119, 199, or this Articles, it shall not be presented to the President for his assent unless it has been approved by a resolution of each Provincial Assembly, or if it applies to one Province only, of the Provincial Assembly of that Province:

Provided further that the Schedules, other than the Fifth Schedule and Part VI of the Fourth Schedule, may be amended or repealed if a Bill for that purpose is passed by a majority of the members present and voting and is assented to by the President:

Provided further that Provincial Legislature may by law make provision with respect to matters specified in Part IV of the Fourth Schedule.

(2) A certificate under the hand of the Speaker of the National Assembly that a Bill has been passed in accordance with the provisions of clause (1) shall be conclusive, and shall not be questioned in any court.

Article 217

Until other provision in that behalf is made by law, the provisions of the Fourth Schedule shall apply in respect of the matters specified therein.

Chapter 6: Interpretation

Article 218

(1) In the Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires, the Definitions, etc. following expressions shall have the meanings hereby respectively assigned to them, that is to say-

"Act of Parliament" means a Bill passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the President, and includes an Ordinance made by the President in accordance with the Constitution:

"Act of a Provincial Legislature" means a Bill passed by a Provincial Assembly and assented to by the Governor or the President, and includes an Ordinance made by the Governor in accordance with the Constitution;

"agricultural income" means agricultural income as defined for the purposes of the enactments relating to income-tax;

, "Article" means an Article of the Constitution:
"borrow" includes the raising of money by the grant of annuities and "loan" shall be construed accordingly;

"casual vacancy" means a vacancy arising in the National or a Provincial Assembly otherwise than by reason of the dissolution of the Assembly;
"citizen" or "citizen of Pakistan" means a person who is a citizen of Pakistan according to the law relating to citizenship:

"clause" means a clause of the Article in which the expression occurs;

"Concurrent List" means the Concurrent List in the Fifth Schedule;

"Constituent Assembly" means the Constituent Assembly of the Dominion of Pakistan;

"Constitution Day" means the day fixed by the Constituent Assembly under clause (4) of Article 222;

"corporation tax" means any tax on income, so far as that tax is payable by companies and is a tax in the case of which the following conditions are fulfilled :

(a) that it is not chargeable in respect of agricultural income;

(b) that no deduction in respect of the tax paid by companies is, by any enactments which may apply to the tax, authorized to be made from dividends payable by the companies to individuals; and

(c) that no provision exists for taking the tax so paid into account in computing for the purposes of income-tax the total income of individuals receiving such dividends or in computing the income-tax payable by, or refundable to such individuals;

"court" does not include the National or a Provincial Assembly or any committee of such an Assembly;

"debt" includes any liability in respect of any obligation to repay capital sums by way of annuities and any liability under any guarantee, and "debt charges" shall be construed accordingly;

"elector" means a person whose name is included in an electoral roll prepared in accordance with the Constitution;

"estate duty" means a duty to be assessed on, or by reference to the principal value, ascertained in accordance with such rules as may be prescribed by or under any Act of Parliament relating to the duty of all property passing upon death or deemed, under the provisions of the said Act, so to pass;

"existing law" means any Act, Ordinance, order, byelaw, rule, regulation or notification which immediately before the Constitution Day has the force of law in the whole or any part of Pakistan.

"Federal Court" means the Federal Court established under the Government of India Act, 1935, and functioning as such immediately before the Constitution Day;

"Federal List" means the Federal List in the Fifth Schedule;

"Federation" means the Islamic Republic of Pakistan;

"Governor-General" means the Governor-General of the Dominion of Pakistan;

"guarantee" includes any obligation undertaken before the Constitution Day to make payments in the event of the profits of an undertaking falling short of a specified amount;

"legal proceedings" include a suit, an appeal or an application, or any cause or matter pending before a court of law for adjudication;

"Part" means a Part of the Constitution;

"pension" means a pension, whether contributory or not, of any kind whatsoever payable to, or in respect of, any person, and includes retired pay so payable, or gratuity so payable, and any sum or sums so payable by way of the return, with or without interet thereon, or any addition thereto, of subscriptions to a provident fund:

"Provincial List" means the Provincial List in the Fifth Schedule;

"Public notification" means, in relation to the Federation, a notification in the Gazette of Pakistan, and in relation to a Province, a notification in the Official Gazette of the Province;

"remuneration" includes salary, allowances and pension;

"Schedule" means a Schedule to the Constitution;

"Scheduled Caste" means a Scheduled Caste determined in accordance with the provisions of Article 204;

"securities" includes stock.

"service of Pakistan" means any service or post in connection with the affairs of the Federation or of a Province, and includes any defence service, and any other service declared as a service of Pakistan by or under an Act of Parliament or of a Provincial Legislature, but does not include service as Governor-General, President, Governor, Speaker or Deputy Speaker, of the National or a Provincial Assembly, Minister of the Federal or a ProvincialGovernment, Minister of State or Deputy Minister of the Federal Government, Deputy Minister or Parliamentary Secretary of a Provincial Government, Judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court, or Comptroller and Auditor-General; and "Servant of Pakistan" shall be construed accordingly;

"Special Areas" means the areas of the Province of West Pakistan which immediately before the commencement of the Establishment of West Pakistan Act, 1955, were-

(a) the tribal areas of Baluchisan, the Pubjab and the North-West Frontier, and

(b) the States of Amb, Chitral, Dir and Swat;

"sub-clause" means a sub-clause of the clause in which the expression occurs;

"taxation" includes the imposition of any tax or impost, whether general, local or special, and

"tax" shall be construed accordingly;

"tax on income" includes a tax in the nature of an excess profits tax, or business profits tax.

(2) Where under the Constitution something is required to be specified it shall be specified, if no specifying authority has been prescribed, by the President.

(3) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that a session of the National or a Provincial Assembly shall be taken to commence at the beginning of the first meeting of the Assembly after a general election or prorogation and to end with the prorogation or dissolution of the Assembly, and references in the Constitution to an Assembly's being in session shall be construed accordingly.

Article 219

(1) Unless the context otherwise requires, the General Clauses Act, 1897, shall apply for the interpretation of the Constitution as it applies for the interpretation of a Central Act, as if the Constitution were a Central Act.

(2) For the application of the General Clauses Act, 1897, to the interpretation of the Constitution, the Acts repealed by the Constitution shall be deemed to be Central Acts.

Chapter 7: Commencement and repeal

Article 220
This Article and Articles 218, 219 and 222 shall come into force at once, and the remaining provisions of the Constitution shall come into force on the Constitution Day.

Article 221

The Government of India Act, 1935, and the Indian Independence Act, 1947, together with all enactments amending or supplementing those Acts, are hereby repealed:

Provided that the repeal of the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935, applicable for the purposes of Article 230 shall not take effect until the first day of April, 1957.


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

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