Supreme Court of Pakistan

Supreme Court of Pakistan



Site Map

The Judicature

Part VII
The Judicature
Chapter 1-The Court

175. Establishment and Jurisdiction of Courts

  • There shall be a Supreme Court of Pakistan, a High Court for each Province [ and a High Court for the Islamabad Capital Territory ] and such other courts as may be established by law.

    [Explanation:- Unless the context otherwise requires, the words "High Court" wherever occurring in the Constitution shall include "Islamabad High Court.]

  • No court shall have any jurisdiction save as is or may be conferred on it by the Constitution or by or under any law.
  • The Judiciary shall be separated progressively from the Executive within [fourteen] years from the commencing day.

    [Provided that the provisions of this Article shall have no application to the trial of persons under any of the Acts metnioned at serial No. 6, 7, 8 and 9 of sub-part III or Part I of the First Schedule, who claims, or is known, to belong to any terrorist group or organization using the name of religion or a sect.

    Explanation:- In this proviso, the expression ‘sect’ means a sect of religion and does not include any religious or political party regulated under the Political Parties Order, 2002.]

175 (A). Appointment of Judges to the Supreme Court, High Courts and the Federal Shariat Court

  • There shall be a Judicial Commission of Pakistan, hereinafter in this Article referred to as the Commission, for appointment of Judges of the Supreme Court, High Courts and the Federal Shariat Court, as hereinafter provided.
  • For appointment of Judges of the Supreme Court, the Commission shall consist of..........
    • Chairman Chief Justice of Pakistan;
    • Members[four] most senior Judges of the Supreme Court;
    • Membera former Chief Justice or a former Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to be nominated by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, in consultation with the [four] member Judges, for a period of two years;
    • MemberFederal Minister for Law and Justice;
    • Member Attorney-General for Pakistan; and
    • Membera Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan nominated by the Pakistan Bar Council for a term of two years.
  • Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (1) or clause (2), the President shall appoint the most senior Judge of the Supreme Court as the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
  • The Commission may make rules regulating its procedure.
  • For appointment of Judges of a High Court, the Commission in clause (2) shall also include the following, namely:-
    • Member Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court; and
    • Member the most senior Judge of that High Court
    • Member Provincial Minister for Law; and
    • Member an advocate having not less than fifteen years practice in the High Court to be nominated by the concerned Bar Council for a term of two years:

      [Provided that for appointment of the Chief Justice of a High Court the most Senior Judge mentioned in paragraph (ii) shall not be member of the Commission:

      Provided futher that if for any reason the Chief Justice of a High Court is not available, he shall be substituted by a former Chief Justice or former Judge of that Court, to be nomicated by the Chief Justice of Pakistan in consultation with the four member Judges of the Commission mentioned in paragraph (ii) of clause (2).]

  • For appointment of Judges of the Islamabad High Court, the Commission in clause (2) shall also include the following, namely:-
    • Member Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court; and
    • Member the most senior Judge of that High Court

      Provided that for initial appointment of the [Chief Justice and the] Judges of the Islamabad High Court, the Chief Justices of the four Provincial High Courts shall also be members of the Commission:

      Provided further that subject to the foregoing proviso, in case of appointment of Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court, the provisos to clause (5) shall, mutatis mutandis, apply.

  • For appointment of Judges of the Federal Shariat Court, the Commission in clause (2) shall also invlude the Chief Justice of the Federal Shariat Court and the most senior Judge of that Court as its members:

    Provided that for appointment of Chief Justice of Federal Shariat Court, the provisos to clause (5) shall, mutatis mutandis, apply.

  • The Commission by majority of its total membership shall nominate to the Parliamentary Committee one person, for each vacancy of a Judge in the Supreme Court, a High Court or the Federal Shariat Court, as the case may be.
  • The Parliamentary Committee, hereinafter in this Article referred to as the Committee, shall consist of the following eight members, namely:-
    • four members from the Senate; and
    • four members from the National Assembly

      [Provided that when the National Assembly is dissolved, the total membership of the Parliamentary Committee shall consist of the members of the Senate only mentioned in paragraph (i) and the provisions of this Article shall, mutatis mutandis apply.]

  • Out of the eight members of the Committee, four shall be from the Treasury Benches, two from each House and four from the Opposition Benches, two from each House. The nomination of members from the Treasury Benches shall be made by the Leader of the House and from the Opposition Benches by the Leader of the Opposition.
  • Secretary, Senate shall act as the Secretary of the Committee.
  • The Committee on receipt of a nomination from the Commission may confirm the nominee by majority of its total membership within fourteen days, failing which the nomination shall be deemed to have been confirmed:

    [Provided that the Committee, for reasons to be recorded, may not confirm the nomination by three-fourth majority of its total membership within the said period:]

    [Provided further that if a nomination is not confirmed by the Committee it shall forward its decision with reasons so recorded to the Commission through the Prime Minister:

    Provided further that if a nomination is not confirmed, the Commission shall send another nomination.]

  • The Committee shall send the name of the nominee confirmed by it or deemed to have been confirmed to the Prime Minister who shall forward the same to the President for appointment.
  • No action or decision taken by the Commission or a Committee shall be invalid or called in question only on the ground of the existence of a vacancy therein or of the absence of any member from any meeting thereof.
  • The meetings of the Committee shall be held in camera and the record of its proceedings shall be maintained.
  • The provisions of Article 68 shall not apply to the proceedings of the Committee.
  • The Committee may make rules for regulating its procedure.

Chapter 2: The Supreme Court of Pakistan

176. Constitution of Supreme Court

The Supreme Court shall consist of a Chief Justice to be known as the Chief Justice of Pakistan and so many other Judges as may be determined by Act of [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] or, until so determined, as may be fixed by the President.

177. Appointment of Supreme Court Judges

  • The Chief Justice of Pakistan and each of the other Judges of the Supreme Court shall be appointment by the President in accordance with Article 175A.
  • A person shall not be appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court unless he is a citizen of Pakistan and-
    • has for a period of, or for periods aggregating, not less than five years been a judge of a High Court (including a High Court which existed in Pakistan at any time before the commencing day); or
    • has for a period of, or for periods aggregating not less than fifteen years been an advocate of a High Court (including a High Court which existed in Pakistan at any time before the commencing day).

178. Oath of Office

Before entering upon office, the Chief Justice of Pakistan shall make before the President, and any other Judge of the Supreme Court shall make before the Chief Justice, oath in the form set out in the Third Schedule.

179. Retiring Age

Before entering upon office, the Chief Justice of Pakistan shall make before the President, and any other Judge of the Supreme Court shall make before the Chief Justice, oath in the form set out in the Third Schedule.

180. Acting Chief Justice

At any time when-

    • the office of Chief Justice of Pakistan is vacant; or
    • the Chief Justice of Pakistan is absent or is unable to perform the functions of his office due to any other cause,
the President shall appoint [one of the judges of the Supreme Court who have not previously held the office of Chief Justice of Pakistan otherwise than under this Article.] to act as Chief Justice of Pakistan.

181. Acting Judges

  • At any time when-
    • the office of Chief Justice of Pakistan is vacant; or
    • a Judge of the Supreme Court is absent or is unable to perform the functions of his office due to any other cause,
    the President may, in the manner provided in clause (1) of Article 177, appoint a Judge of a High Court who is qualified for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court to act temporarily as a Judge of the Supreme Court.

    Explanation:- In this clause, 'Judge of a High Court' includes a person who has retired as a Judge of a High Court.]

  • An appointment under this Article shall continue in force until it is revoked by the President.

182. Appointment of ad-hoc Judges

  • If at any time it is not possible for want of quorum of Judges of the Supreme Court to hold or continue any sitting of the Court, or for any other reason it is necessary to increase temporarily the number of Judges of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of Pakistan [in consultation with the Judicial Commission as provided in clause (2) of Article 175A,] may, in writing,-
    • with the approval of the President, request any person who has held the office of a Judge of that Court and since whose ceasing to hold that office three years have not elapsed; or
    • with the approval of the President and with the consent of the Chief justice of a High Court, require a Judge of that Court qualified for appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court,
    to attend sittings of the Supreme Court as an ad hoc Judge for such period as may be necessary and while so attending an ad hoc Judge shall have the same power and jurisdiction as a Judge of the Supreme Court.

183. Seat of the Supreme Court

  • The permanent seat of the Supreme Court shall, subject to clause (3), be at Islamabad.
  • The Supreme Court may from time to time to time sit in such other places as the Chief Justice of Pakistan, with the approval of the President, may appoint.
  • Until provision is made for establishing the Supreme Court at Islamabad, the seat of the Court shall be at such place as the President may appoint.

184. Original Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

  • The Supreme Court shall, to the exclusion of every other court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute between any two or more Governments.

    Explanation:- In this clause, "Governments" means the Federal Government and the Provincial Governments.

  • In the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on it by clause (1), the Supreme Court shall pronounce declaratory judgments only.
  • Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 199, the Supreme Court shall, if it considers that a question of public importance with reference to the enforcement of any of the Fundamental Rights conferred by Chapter I of Part II is involved have the power to make an order of the nature mentioned in the said Article.

185. Appellate Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

  • Subject to this Article, the Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from judgments, decrees, final orders or sentences.
  • An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from any judgment, decree, final order or sentence
    • if the High Court has on appeal reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death or to transportation for life or imprisonment for life; or, on revision, has enhanced a sentence to a sentence as aforesaid; or
    • if the High Court has withdrawn for trial before itself any case from any court subordinate to it and has in such trial convicted the accused person and sentenced him as aforesaid; or
    • if the High Court has imposed any punishment on any person for contempt of the High Court; or
    • if the amount or value of the subject matter of the dispute in the court of first instance was, and also in dispute in appeal is, not less than fifty thousand rupees or such other sum as may be specified in that behalf by Act of [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] and the judgment, decree or final order appealed from has varied or set aside the judgment, decree or final order of the court immediately below; or
    • if the judgment, decree or final order involves directly or indirectly some claim or question respecting property of the like amount or value and the judgment, decree or final order appealed from has varied or set aside the judgment, decree or final order of the court immediately below; or
    • if the High Court certifies that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution.
  • An appeal to the Supreme Court from a judgment, decree, order or sentence of a High Court in a case to which clause (2) does not apply shall lie only if the Supreme Court grants leave to appeal.

186. Advisory Jurisdiction

  • If, at any time, the President considers that it is desirable to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court on any question of law which he considers of public importance, he may refer the question to the Supreme Court for consideration.
  • The Supreme Court shall consider a question so referred and report its opinion on the question to the President.

186 (A). Power of Supreme Court to transfer cases

The Supreme Court may, if it considers it expedient to do so in the interest of justice, transfer any case, appeal or other proceedings pending before any High Court to any other High Court.

187. Issue and Execution of Processes of Supreme Court

  • [Subject to clause(2) of Article 175, the] Supreme Court shall have power to issue such directions, orders or decrees as may be necessary for doing complete justice in any case or matter pending before it, including an order for the purpose of securing the attendance of any person or the discovery or production of any document.
  • Any such direction, order or decree shall be enforceable throughout Pakistan and shall, where it is to be executed in a Province, or a territory or an area not forming part of a Province but within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Province, be executed as if it had been issued by the High Court of that Province.
  • If a question arises as to which High Court shall give effect to a direction, order or decree of the Supreme Court, the decision of the Supreme Court on the question shall be final.

188. Review of Judgments or Orders by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court shall have power, subject to the provisions of any Act of [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] and of any rules made by the Supreme Court, to review any judgment pronounced or any order made by it.

189. Decisions of Supreme Court binding on other Courts

Any decision of the Supreme Court shall, to the extent that it decides a question of law or is based upon or enunciates a principle of law, be binding on all other courts in Pakistan.

190. Action in aid of Supreme Court

All executive and judicial authorities through out Pakistan shall act in aid of the Supreme Court.

191. Rules of Procedure

Subject to the Constitution and law, the Supreme Court may make rules regulating the practice and procedure of the Court.