Fundamental Rights of the Citizens of Pakistan PDF Print E-mail
Written by Waseem Chatha   
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 08:56

The citizens of Pakistan as compared to any citizen of a civilized country possess their basic fundamental rights which are given to them through the unanimous Constitution known as “The Constitution of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan” passed by the Parliament of Pakistan on 12th April 1973. The preamble of the constitution is very much clear in this regard which is as under

Where as sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Almighty Allah (God) alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Pakistan, within the limits prescribed by Him, is a sacred trust.

And Whereas it is the will of the people of Pakistan to establish an Order:

Wherein the state shall exercise its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people;

Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance, and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed;

Wherein adequate provisions shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practice their religious and develop their culture;

Wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights, including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to law and public morality;

Wherein adequate provisions shall be made to safeguard the legitimate interests of minorities and backward and depressed classes;

Wherein the independence of the judiciary shall be fully secured;

These were the salient points mentioned therein.

Before proceeding further I want to made it clear to whom, who think that perhaps there is no concept of fundamental or human rights in Pakistan and this country is of stone age. Now I come towards the chapter No.1 of the Constitution which deals with the Fundamental Rights and as per its

Article 8: Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of Fundamental rights to be void

(1)     Any Law, or any CUSTOM or USAGE having the force of law (in so far as it is inconsistent with the rights conferred by the Chapter), shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be VOID.

(2)     The STATE shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights so conferred and any law made in contravention of this clause, shall, ( to the extent of such contravention), be VOID.

The most important Para is as under

The rights conferred by this Chapter shall not be suspended except as expressly provided by the Constitution

Article 9: Security of Person:

  No person shall be deprived of life or liberty, save in accordance with law.

Article 10: Safeguard as to Arrest & Detention:

(1)    No person, (who is arrested), shall be detained-in-custody, WITHOUT being informed, as soon as may be, of the GROUNDS for such, 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 a 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 nearest Magistrate, and no such person shall be detained in custody beyond the said period WITHOUT the authority of a MAGISTRATE.

(3)    Nothing in clause (1) and (2) shall apply to the person who is arrested or detained under any LAW providing for PREVENTIVE DETENTION.

(4)    No law providing for PREVENTING DETENTION shall be made EXCEPT to deal with PERSONS acting in a manner PREJUDICIAL to the INTERGRITY, SECURITY OR DEFFENCE of PAKISTAN, or any PART thereof, or EXTENAL AFFAIRS of PAKISTAN or PUBLIC ORDER, or MAINTANCE of SUPPLIES OR SERVICES, and no such law shall authorize the detention of a person for a period exceeding (three months). Unless the appropriate Review Board has (after affording HIM an opportunity of being head in expiration of the said period, that there is in its OPINION sufficient cause for such detention, and, if the detention is continued after the said period of (three months), unless the appropriate Review Board has reviewed his case and reported, before the expiration of each period of three months, that there is in OPINION, sufficient causes for Such DETENTION.

Explanation 1: In this Article, the appropriate review Board means:

(i)                 in case of a person detained under a Federal Law, a BOARD appointed by the CHIEF JUSTICE of PAKISTAN, And consisting of a CHAIRMAN and two other PERSONS each of whom is or has been a judge of Supreme Court, or A High Court and;

(ii)               in case of a person detained under a Provincial Law, a BOARD appointed by the CHIEF JUSTICE of High Court concerned and consisting of a CHAITMAN and two other PERSONS, each of whom is or has been a judge of a High Court

Explanation ii: The OPINION of a REVIEW BORD shall be expressed in terms of the views of the majority of its MEMBERS.

(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, within 15-days from such detention COMMUNICATE to such person, the grounds on which the order has been made, and shall afford hin earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order

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

(6)    The authority making the order shall furnish to the APPROPRIATE BOARD all documents relevant to the case unless a CERTIFICATE, signed by a Secretary to the Government concerned, to the effect that it is not the PUBLIC INTEREST to furnish any document is provided.

(7)    Within a period of twenty-four months, commencing on the day of his first detention, in pursuance of an order made under a law providing for preventive detention, no person shall be detained in pursuance of any such order for more than a total period of eight months in the case of a person detained for acting in a manner prejudicial to public order and twelve months in any other case

Provided that this clause shall not apply to any person who is employed by or works for, or acts on instructions received from the enemy (or who is acting or attempting to act in manner prejudicial to the integrity, security or defense of  Pakistan or any part thereof or who commits or attempts to commit any act which amounts to an anti-national activity as defined in a Federal Law or is a member of any association which has for its objects, or which has indulged in any such anti-national activity)

(8)    The APPROPRIATE REVIEW BOARD shall determine the place of detention of the person detained and fix a reasonable subsistence allowance for his FAMILY.

(9)    Nothing in this Article shall apply to any person who for the time being is an ENEMY ALINE

Article 11: Slavery, Forced Labor etc. prohibited

(1)   Slavery is non-existence and forbidden and no LAW shall permits or facilitate introduction into Pakistan in any form.

(2)   All forms of forced labor and traffic in human beings are PROHIBITED.

(3)   No child below the age of FOURTEEN shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment.

(4)   Nothing in this Article shall be deemed to affect compulsory service

(a)    by any person undergoing punishment for an offence against any law; or

(b)    required by any law for public purpose

PROVIDED, that no compulsory service shall be of a cruel nature or incompatible with human dignity.

Article 12: Protection against Retrospective punishment

(1)   No LAW shall authorize the punishment of a person

(a)     for an act or omission that was not punishable by law at the time of the act or omission; or

(b)    for an offence by a penalty greater than, or of a kind different from the penalty prescribed by law for that offence at the time the offence was committed

Article 13: Protection against double punishment and self incrimination:

No person

(a)    shall be prosecuted or punished for the same offence more than once; or

(b)   shall, when accused of an offence, be compelled to be a witness against himself

Article 14: Inviolability of dignity of men, etc:

(1)    The dignity of man and subject, to law, the privacy of home, shall be inviolable.

(2)    No person shall be subjected to torture for the purpose of extracting evidence.

Article 15: Freedom of movement, etc

Every citizen shall have the right to remain in, and, subject to any reasonable restriction imposed by law in the public interest, enter and move freely throughout Pakistan and to reside and settle in any part thereof.

Article 16: Freedom of assembly    

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 17: Freedom of Association    

(1)   Every citizen shall have the right to form association or unions, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of Sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan, public order or morality.

(2)   Every citizen, not being in service of Pakistan, shall have the right to form or be a member of a political party, subject to any reasonable restriction imposed by law in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of  Pakistan or Public Order and such law shall provide that where the Fedral Government declare that any political party has been formed or is operating in a manner prejudicial to the sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan or public order, the Federal Government shall, within fifteen days of such declaration, refer the matter to the Supreme Court whose decision on such reference shall be final

Provided that no political party shall promote sectarian ,ethnic , regional hatred or animosity, or be titled or constituted as militant group or section.

(3)   Every political party shall account for the source of the funds in accordance with law.

(4)   Every political party shall, subject to law, hold intra-party sections to elect its office-bearers and party leaders.

Article 18: Freedom of trade, business or profession:

Subject to such qualifications, if any, as may be prescribed by law, every citizen 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 regulation of trade, commerce or industry in the interest of free competition therein; or

(c)    the carrying on, by the Federal Government 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 the persons.

Article 19: Freedom of speech, etc:

Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the Press, subject to any reasonable restriction imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defense of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, commission of or incitement to an offence.

Article 20: Freedom to profess religion and to manage religious institutions

Subject to law, public order and morality:-

(a)    every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice and propagate his religion ; and

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

Article 21: Safeguard against taxation for the purpose of any particular religion

No persons 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: Safeguards as to educational institutions in respect of religion, etc

(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)   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.

(3)   Subject to law

(a)      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; and

(b)       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

(4)   Nothing in this Article shall prevent any public authority from making provision for the advancement of any socially or educationally backward class of citizens.

Article 23: Provision as to property

Every citizen shall have the right to acquire, hold and dispose of property in any part of Pakistan, subject to the Constitution and any reasonable restriction imposed by law in the public interest.

Article 24: Protection of property rights:

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

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

(3)   Nothing in this Article shall affect the validity

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

(b)   any law permitting the taking over of any property which has been acquired by, or come into the possession of , any person by any unfair means, or in any manner, contrary to law; or

(c)    any law relating to the acquisition, administration, or disposal of any property which is or is deemed to be enemy property or evacuee property under any law(not being property which has ceased be evacuee property under any law) or

(d)   any law providing for the acquisition of any class of property for the purpose of

(i)                  providing education and medical aid to all or any specified class of citizesns; or

(ii)                providing housing and public facilities and services such as roads, water supply, sewerage, gas and electric power to all or any specified class of citizens; or

(iii)                providing maintenance to those who, on account of unemployment, sickness, infirmity or old age, are unable to maintain themselves; or

(iv)              any existing law or any law made in pursuance of Article 253.

(4) The adequacy or otherwise of any compensation provided for any such law as is referred to in this Article, or determined in pursuance thereof, shall not be called in question in any court.  

Article 25: Equality of citizen:

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

(2)    There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex alone.

(3)   Nothing in this Article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the protection of women children.

Article 26: Non-discrimination in respect of access to public places

(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, residences or place of birth.

(2)   Nothing in clause (1) shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children

Article 27: Safeguard against discrimination in services:

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.

Article 28: Preservation of language, script and culture

Subject to Article 51, any section of citizen having a distinct language, script or culture shall have the right to preserve and promote the same and subject to law, establish institution for that purpose.

( To be continued)