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INDEMNITY CLAUSE

INDEMNITY CLAUSE The martial-law administration of General Zia ul-Haq faced one serious problem in its efforts to restore constitutional government in Pakistan The constitution of 1973 made intervention by the military a capital offense This constitutional provision notwithstanding, General Zia ul-Haq had assumed power on 5 July 1977 by staging a successful coup d’etat against the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Zia had to indemnify the actions taken by his government before he could lift martial law Accordingly, by inserting Article 270-A in the eighth amendment to the constitution, all acts by the martial government were indemnified The amendment was passed by the National Assembly in October 1985 According to Section 2 of the new article: “All orders made, proceedings taken and acts done by any authority or by any person which were made, taken or done, or purported to have been made, taken or done, between the fifth day of July 1977 and the date on which this Article comes into force, in exercise of the powers derived from any Proclamation, President’s Orders, Ordinances, Martial Law Regulation, Martial Law Orders, enactments, notifications, rules, orders or by-laws, or in execution of or in compliance with any order made or sentence passed by any authority in the exercise or purported exercise of powers as aforesaid shall, notwithstanding any judgment of any court, be deemed to be and always to have been validly made, taken or done and shall not be called in question in any court on any ground whatsoever” Article 270-A came into force along with the amended constitution, on the withdrawal of martial law on 30 December 1985

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