Courts Law Pakistan

The judiciary of the country is having a three level hierarchy such as
  1. Supreme court
  2. High courts
  3. District court and Special Courts & Tribunals
  1. The Supreme Court of Pakistan is the apex court in the judicial hierarchy of the country.
  2. The Constitution contains elaborate provisions on the composition, jurisdiction, powers and functions of the Court.
  3. Its orders/decisions are binding on all other courts in the country.
  4. All executive and judicial authorities are bound to act in aid of the Supreme Court.
  1. The Supreme Court exercises original 'jurisdiction', with respect to the enforcement of fundamental rights, if the case involves a question of public importance.
  2. The Court also exercises advisory jurisdiction where under the President may obtain its opinion on a question of law.
  3. Under its appellate jurisdiction, the Court entertains appeals against orders and decisions of High Courts and other special tribunals and courts.
  4. Under the Constitution, the Court is invested with authority to make its rules of practice and procedure.
  1. The High Courts have such jurisdiction as is conferred on them by the Constitution or by other statute of the country.
  2. The jurisdiction of this court may be classified as follows:
    1. Extra-Ordinary Jurisdiction
  • As the name suggests by exercising this jurisdiction the High Court may issue directions and orders to any person or authority in the country, prohibiting, commanding, calling in question acts done or intended to be done by such person or authority, in specified circumstances.
  • The jurisdiction to issue these orders is the well-known prerogative writs, which have not been mentioned by their traditional names of the writs of mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, quo warranto and habeas corpus.
Order of Mandamus
  • An order of mandamus is a direction issued to
    1. 'any natural person,
    2. corporation or
    3. inferior court
within the jurisdiction of the High Court requiring them to do some specific thing therein particularised, and which appertains to their office of duty.
  • Its object usually is to enforce a plain, positive, specific and ministerial duty presently existing and imposed by law upon officers when there is no other adequate and specific legal remedy and without which there would be a failure of justice.
Order of prohibition
  • The High Court's jurisdiction to issue an order of prohibition where a Court or Tribunal other than the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the High Court or a Tribunal established under the law relating to Defence Services acts in excess of or without jurisdiction.
  • In case of quasi-judicial proceedings generally an order of prohibition does not issue. It is issued only against a Court or a judicial body which though may not be called a Court but has been created specifically under a statute.
  • Order of certiorari is of two kinds
    1. for removal and adjudication; and
    2. for quashing the proceedings.
  • The order of certiorari may be issued
    1. for correcting errors of jurisdiction as when an inferior Court or Tribunal acts without jurisdiction or in excess of it or fails to exercise it; or
    2. when the Court or Tribunal acts illegally in the exercise of its undoubted jurisdiction, as when it decides without giving an opportunity to the parties, to be heard, or violates the principles of natural justice. An order under this article may be issued only to a body acting judicially or quasi judicially because Certiorari lies in all cases where there is a duty to act judicially or where there is a judicial act or order or when the proceedings are judicial or quasi-judicial.
Quo Warranto
  • Quo warranto is the remedy or proceeding whereby the Court inquires into the legality of the claim which a party asserts to an office or franchise, and to oust him from its enjoyment if the claim be not well founded to have the same forfeited.
  • To recover it if having once been rightfully possessed and enjoyed, it has become forfeited for misuser or nonuser.
  • Before opting for this kind of writ one shall look that it is a substantive corporate office of a public nature, and the person proceeded against is in actual possession and use of the office in question.
    • The original and appellate jurisdiction of the High Courts are provided by pre-Constitution laws such as
      1. the Criminal Procedure Code,' and
      2. the Code of Civil Procedure,
    • Appellate Jurisdiction under the Code of Criminal Procedure, the High Courts hear appeals against the orders passed by the Sessions or Additional Sessions Judges and under the Code of Civil Procedure, the High Courts hear appeals from the decisions of the subordinate civil courts and the District Judges' courts.
    • A second appeal under the Code lies to the High Court on a question of law or on the ground of a substantial error or defect in procedure in the first appellate court.
    • As an appellate court, the High Court has the power to determine the case finally, to remand to frame issues and refer them for trial, to take additional evidence or to require such evidence to be taken as it may deem fit.
    • The High Courts make rules for the guidance of the lower civil and criminal courts.
    • A High Court can transfer cases from one court to another or when it thinks fit may transfer a case for trial even to itself.
  1. The district courts of Pakistan are the lowest of all the courts in the hierarchy, which deal with all the mattes pertaining to civil and criminal nature.


  1. In every district of a Province, there is a Court of District Judge which is the principal court of original jurisdiction in civil matters.
  2. Courts of General Jurisdiction Besides the Court of District Judge, there are courts of Civil Judges.
  3. Civil Judges function under the superintendence and control of District Judge and all matters of civil nature originate in the courts of Judges.
  4. The District Judge may, however, withdraw any case from any Civil Judge and try it himself.
  5. Appeals against the judgements and decrees passed by the Civil Judges in cases where the value of the suit does not exceed the specified amount lie to the District Judge.

Criminal Cases

  1. In every district, there is a Court of Sessions Judge and Courts of Magistrates has the jurisdiction to try the Criminal cases.
  2. The offences punishable with death and cases arising out of the enforcement of laws relating to Hudood are tried by Sessions Judges.
  3. The Court of a Sessions Judge is competent to pass any sentence authorised by law.
  4. Offences not punishable with death are tried by Magistrates.
  5. Among the Magistrates there are Magistrates of 1st Class, IInd Class and IIIrd Class.
  6. An appeal against the sentence passed by a Sessions Judge lies to the High Court and against the sentence passed by a Magistrate to the Sessions Judge if the term of sentence is upto four years, otherwise to the High Court.
  1. In this country there are also special courts and tribunals has been established so as to deal with specific types of cases.
  2. These are Special Courts for
    1. Trial of Offences in Banks;
    2. for Recovery of Bank Loans;
    3. under the Customs Act,
    4. Traffic Courts;
    5. Anti-Corruption;
    6. Commercial Courts;
    7. Drug Courts;
    8. Labour Courts;
    9. Insurance Appellate Tribunal;
    10. Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and
    11. Services Tribunals.
  3. Appeals from the Special Courts lie to the High Courts, except in case of Labour Courts and Special Traffic Courts, which have separate forums of appeal.