Discipline and rule of law by Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi

Sometime ago I was listening to US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He made an interesting remark. He said that if we want absolute liberty in a society then we should get rid of the constitution. Because a constitution sets limit to the actions and behaviors of individuals.

I am not a lawyer by profession so I will speak as a layman. Each article of law has two components:

(i)                 Due process or legal code: This means that a procedure or code is laid down to deal with all situations governed by the law. For instance to select a committee what will be the procedure. Or to punish a thief which procedure should be pursued by both prosecution and defense to enable a judge to announce a verdict. Even a judge has to award verdict based on a code rather than his personal desire. Failure to comply with due process impinges on the final outcome and can render the final outcome to lose legitimacy.

(ii)               Final outcome: Final outcome can be the establishment of a committee or boundaries of a punishment. It can also be vesting of an authority on a position.

Each organization has to be governed by a constitution that is approved and adopted by its members. A person or persons assuming office in the organization become custodians of the constitution of that organization. All actions taken by these office bearers have to conform to the articles laid out in the constitution. If any one of the two components are not observed then the actions can be deemed as outside the constitution and lose power of legitimacy or authority. For instance, if a committee is formed without going through the due process then that committee is unconstitutional and the decisions taken by that committee are not binding on the organization.

Discipline in a political or a society at large can not be established until and unless everyone agrees to respect the constitution. Law should apply equally to all citizens regardless of their social stature and political influence. That is what Quaid-e-Azam

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