ISLAMABAD – Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed Thursday said that like other countries of the world, Pakistan also has its own judicial system which has its own history of evolution and it evolved through indigenous experiences and learning.
The Chief Justice said this while addressing a delegation of National Defense University (NDU) headed by Chief Instructor Major General Inayat Hussain at the Supreme Court building.
On this occasion, the Chief Justice gave an overview of the Judicial System of Pakistan and briefed the participants about its history, evolution, responsibilities, composition and functioning of superior judiciary, district judiciary including civil courts, criminal courts and special courts. He said that the judicial system in Pakistan, as it is now, has its own history of evolution and is rooted in the times of Hindu rule of India, Muslim rule of India and the British colonial period. After the independence, the judicial system further evolved through indigenous experiences and learning.
The CJP remarked, “The judicial system of Pakistan is fully codified by laws, and its practices are also governed by laws and rules, which are also duly codified.” He added that there is a four-tier judicial system operating in Pakistan, both for ordinary civil and ordinary criminal cases.
He stated that the lowest rank of civil courts is called the Court of a Civil Judge. In this Court, all civil suits originate except in the territory of Karachi, where the High Court has also been given original civil jurisdiction to try suits having pecuniary value of rupees 15 million and above for the territory of Karachi. The suits valued at less than these pecuniary values in the territory of Karachi originate in the Court of a Civil Judge.
Justice Gulzar told that 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.
He added that the third tier is the High Court, which exercises revisional and appellate jurisdiction over the judgements, orders and decrees passed by the District Judges.
He further said that the fourth tier is the Supreme Court, which is the final court of appeal against the judgements, orders and decrees passed by the High Courts.
“The Supreme Court is also conferred by the Constitution, the original jurisdiction to adjudicate and determine disputes between two governments, that is between the federal government and a provincial government or between two provincial governments,” maintained Justice Gulzar.
The Chief Justice continued that the Supreme Court has also been conferred original jurisdiction of hearing and deciding constitutional petitions involving question of public importance with reference to enforcement of any of the fundamental rights.
He said that the Supreme Court also has advisory jurisdiction to give opinions on questions of law of public importance referred to it by the President of Pakistan.
Justice Gulzar also said that the judgments, orders and decrees passed by the Court of Civil Judge are executed in the same court, while judgements, orders and decrees passed by the High Courts’ exercising their original jurisdiction are executed by the concerned High Court itself. The judgements, orders and decrees passed by the Supreme Court are enforceable throughout Pakistan and where it is to be executed in a province, it is executed by the High Court of the said province.
Justice Gulzar also mentioned that in terms of Chapter 3A of the Constitution, the Federal Shariat Court has been constituted and conferred exclusive jurisdiction to examine and decide questions of whether any law or provision of law, is repugnant to the injunctions of Islam, as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and has also been conferred appellate and revisional jurisdictions in cases arising out of hudood laws. An appeal against Federal Shariat Court lies before the Supreme Court.