Holding President accountable: Clause 5 of 20A limits citizens’ rights – WMC
Women and Media Collective (WMC) stated Clause 5 of the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, repeals the citizen’s right to file Fundamental Rights applications against the Executive’s decisions.
Issuing a statement on the proposed 20th Amendment and matters pertaining to the citizens’ right to be heard, the Collective opined that taking away the citizen’s right to hold their elected President responsible for his Executive actions, severely undermines the progressive democratic right through which recent landmark cases have stayed the course of political whim.
In addition, any Bill certified by the Cabinet as urgent in the national interest is not required to be published in the Gazette as per Clause 27 of the proposed 20th Amendment. ‘This process completely evades the public’s right to know the contents of a Bill and challenge it if necessary. The President shall refer the Bill to the Supreme Court to decide on the constitutionality of it within a maximum period of only 72 hours. The restriction placed on time, runs the risk of the law-making process being unduly rushed and thereby affecting the quality of judicial review,’ the Collective added.