On the 7th of October, 1958, President Sikandar Mirza abrogated the 1956 constitution and imposed martial law. After some days, General Ayub Khan deposed the Sikandar Mirza and took over as martial law administrator. Two years later he appointed a commission under the chairmanship of Justice Shahabuddin to prepare a draft for the constitution. The commission presented its report on 1st may, 1961 and after some amendments, the constitution of 1962 was enforced.
Salient Features of 1962 Constitution.
1) Written Constitution the Constitution of 1962 was a written document. It consisted of five schedules and 250 articles.
2) Rigid Constitution This is a rigid constitution. This is a rigid constitution can only be amended through a particular process. If an amendment to the constitution is passed by at least two-third majority of the parliament, then it becomes a part of law after authentication by the President.
3) Federal System A federal system was introduced in the country. It consisted of a central government and two provincial government comprising East and West Pakistan.
4) Presidential forum of Government President was the head Executive of the nation. He was empowered to nominate the ministers of his cabinet.
5) Unicameral Legislature
6) Indirect Method of Election the President was elected by an Electoral College comprising 80,000 Basic Democrats, equally distributed between the two provinces.
7) Provincial Governments There were two provincial governments. Each of them was headed by a governor. He enjoyed powers in the province which the President enjoyed in the center. The Governor was empowered to appoint provincial ministers with the sanction of the President of Pakistan.
8) Provincial Legislature Each province was provided with a legislature. It originally consisted of 150 members. However, later on this number was increased to 218.
9) Powers of President According to the 1962 Constitution the President should be a Muslim with the term of 5 years. He was eligible to promulgate Ordinances and veto against legislated laws only override-able by two/thirds of the National Assembly. However, the President was not empowered to dissolve the Assembly except the cost of his office also.
10) Restrictions to the President the President was not allowed to hold any office of profit in the service of Pakistan but was not prevented from holding a managing private property.
11) Islamic Law No Law would be passed against the teaching of Quran and Sunnah and the existing laws would be made Islamic in character.
12) Fundamental Rights The constitution of 1962 laid down fundamental rights of speech and expression, freedom to choose profession and freedom to profess religion. With Regards to civil rights, familiar right such as the rights of life, livery and property were granted.
13) Role of Judiciary the Judiciary was responsible for the interpretation of laws and executive orders in the light of the principles embodied in a written constitution.
14) Language Urdu and Bengali were recognized as National Languages.