Describe the Procedure of amending the constitution of Pakistan?
A constitution Amendment is a formal change to a written constitution. Sometimes, text of a constitution is altered through amendment. And sometimes, only a provision of constitution is altered through amendment. In different states, different procedures are adopted to amend constitution or any provision of constitution. Among these procedures the most common are legislative procedure of parliament and referendum.
2. AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION
The constitution of 1973 is quite rigid one because it cannot be easily Amended. Article 238 confers power on parliament to amend the constitution and article 239 provides a detailed procedure for the amendment of the constitution, the parliament thus is vested with the power to make amendment in the constitution and there is no provision in the constitution, which puts restraint on its power in this behalf.
CASE LAW: Muhammad Bachal Memon v/s Govt of Sindh P.L.D 1987 Kar. 296. It was held that parliament is supreme authority to make any amendment in any part of the constitution. There is no provision in the constitution which puts restrains on its power in this behalf.
The object of introducing provisions for the amendment of the constitution is to bring it in line with the changing conditions and new demands and needs of time which could not have been fore seen by the constitution maker at the time when constitution was promulgated.
4. PROCEDURE OF AMENDMENT IN THE CONSTITUTIONS
By 1985 amendment, the procedure of making Amendment in the 1973 constitution has been made more difficult as prior to this amendment this was comparatively flexible. Following points are important as far as procedure to amend any provision of constitution of Pakistan is concerned.
4.1 PRESENTATION OF BILL TO PARLIAMENT
A bill to amend any provision of constitution of Pakistan can originate in either of houses of parliament.
4.2 TRANSMISSION OF BILL TO OTHER HOUSE
If the bill has been passed by two third majority of the house, it shall be transmitted to the other house.
4.3 PASSING OF BILL WITHOUT AMENDMENT
If the bill has been passed with the two third majority of the house without amendment by which it is transmitted it shall be transmitted o all the provincial assembly.
4.4 PASSING OF BILL WITH AMENDMENT
If the bill is passed with amendment by two third majority of total membership of the house so which it is transmitted, it shall be reconsidered by a house in which it had originated.
4.5 TRANSMISSION OF BILL TO ALL PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLY
If the bill as amended by former house is passed by the later by two third of its total membership, it shall be transmitted to all the provincial assemblies.
4.6 PASSING OF BILL BY PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLIES
A bill transmitted to the provincial assemblies is passed by each such assembly by a majority of the total number of its members present and voting.
4.7 ASSENTS BY PRESIDENT
When a bill passes all stages of approval of provincial assemblies then it is presented to the president for assent.
4.8 BILL HAVING THE EFFECT OF ALTERING THE LIMITS OF A PROVINCE PROCEDURE
A bill to amend the constitution which would have the effect of altering the limits of a province shall not be presented to the president for assent unless it has been passed by the provincial assembly of that province by two thirds of its total membership.
5. PRESENT PROCEDURE OF AMENDMENT
The present procedure of Amendment in the constitution is as under:-
- A bill to amend may originate in either house of parliament.
- When the bill has been passed by two thirds majority of that house it is transmitted to other house.
- If the bill is passed by the other house with amendment then it is again transmitted to the former house for reconsideration.
- If the bill is passed by the other house without amendment by two thirds majority of the total membership of the house it is presented to president for assent.
- If alteration in the limits of a province in intended then it is not presented to president for assent unless it is passed by provincial assembly of that province with two thirds majority of its total membership.
- After approval by president the bill has become act of parliament and the constitution stand amended in accordance with the term thereof.
- If parliament had give assent to the bill of amendment in the constitution then it cannot be called in question in any court or any ground whatsoever.
- There is no limitation whatever on the power of the parliament to amend any of the provisions of constitution.
To conclude we can say that the present constitution is rigid but flexibility is latent in it. The present constitution can be changed according to the changing circumstances. It is flexible in this sense and resembles to the British constitution. It has been decided in constitution of Pakistan that constitution of Pakistan can be amended by act of parliament and there is no limitation on the power of parliament to amend any of the provisions of the constitution.