Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Thursday observed that the judicial system of the country was fully codified by laws and its practices were also governed by rules and regulations.
The top judge made these remarks while addressing the participants of National Security and War Course 2021 during their visit to the Supreme Court.
Welcoming the participants, the chief justice said that the main purpose of the war course participants’ visit to the apex court was to get an orientation on the judicial system of the country.
He said like other countries of the world, Pakistan also had its own judicial system.
“The judicial system in Pakistan, as it is now, had its own history of evolution and was rooted in the times of Hindu rule of India, Muslim rule of India and the British colonial period,” he said.
The top judge noted that after the end of British rule in the year 1947 and the creation of the independent state of Pakistan, the judicial system had evolved further through indigenous experiences.
“Indeed, this process of refinement is ongoing and shall keep continuing,” he said.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed observed that as an introduction, it was essential to mention some basic features having relevance to the judiciary in Pakistan.
Pakistan is a federal republic known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Article 1 of the constitution provides for the same, he said.
“It has four federating territories that are the provinces of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh, alongside the Islamabad Capital Territory. Article 175 of the constitution deals with the judicature and provides that there shall be a Supreme Court of Pakistan and a high court for each province and the Islamabad Capital Territory, and such other courts that may be established by law,” he said.
Furthermore, by a Presidential Order No1 of 1980, Chapter 3A was added to the constitution by which the Federal Shariat Court was constituted.
“The most likely way of explaining the judicial system of Pakistan, as regards ordinary cases, and I say ordinary cases for the reason that there are also special courts and tribunals created by law to deal with special cases and their hierarchy is also provided by such laws. There is a four-tier judicial system operating in Pakistan, both for ordinary civil and ordinary criminal cases,” he said.
The chief justice noted that the lowest rank of civil courts was called the court of a civil judge.
He said that in this court, all civil suits originate except in the territory of Karachi, where the high court had also been given original civil jurisdiction to try suits having pecuniary value of Rs15 million and above for the territory of Karachi.
He said that the suits valued at less than these pecuniary values in the territory of Karachi originate in the court of a civil judge.
The second tier is the court of district judge, which exercises revisional and appellate jurisdiction against the judgments, orders and decrees passed by the courts of civil judge.
The third tier is the high court, which exercises revisional and appellate jurisdiction over the judgments, orders and decrees passed by the district judges.
The fourth tier is the Supreme Court, which is the final court of appeal against the judgments, orders and decrees passed by the High Courts.
The top judge observed that the judgments, orders and decrees passed by the Supreme Court were enforceable throughout the country and where it was to be executed in a province it was executed by the high court of the said province.