Monday, July 25, 2011

Debt recovery law faces due-process challenge in Pakistan

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

B.N. Rau, Constitutional Adviser to the Constituent Assembly that was drafting the Constitution of India (“the Indian Constitution”), travelled to the U.S.A, where he met U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. The latter advised him against including the phrase ‘due process’ in the Indian Constitution, and hence, in 1949, the phrase was not included in the text of the Indian Constitution. Indian courts, however, repeatedly located ‘due process’ in Article 14 of the Indian Constitution instead. One could, without exaggeration, describe the Pakistani legal tradition as India-lite (with a flavour of Islam). The Constitutions of 1956, 1962, and 1973 all avoided the use of the term ‘due process’ in keeping with the Indian tradition. In 2010, when Pakistan’s Parliament passed the Eighteenth Amendment to the Pakistan’s Constitution, a new article - Article 10-A - was introduced. It reads:

Article 10-A: For the determination of his civil rights and obligations or in any criminal charge against him a person shall be entitled to fair trial and due process.”

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