Different Jurisdictions of Courts in Pakistan

In Pakistan, there are different courts that have different kind of jurisdictions. Through the various laws, these different Jurisdictions of Courts in Pakistan have been defined. If you are a law student then to understand the various jurisdictions of courts working in Pakistan is of utmost important for you.

To know the different jurisdictions of all courts in Pakistan you have to read multiple laws. The most important among those is the Constitution of Pakistan 1973. The Constitution provides these courts the power to operate and have different jurisdictions at different level.

The jurisdiction of various courts is also defined in other laws such as; the code of criminal procedure 1898, the code of civil procedure 1908, and the civil court ordinance 1962.

For understanding the concept of the jurisdictions of different courts in Pakistan, the following lines can be a quick guide to determine which court in Pakistan has what type of jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction of Supreme Court of Pakistan

Supreme Court enjoys the highest status in Pakistan as it is the last forum of appeal. The Supreme Court have different types of jurisdictions which are:

  • Advisory jurisdiction
  • original jurisdiction
  • Civil appellate jurisdiction
  • Criminal appellate jurisdiction
  • Jurisdiction to Review its own order and judgments
  • Contempt of court

As I mentioned above that the Supreme Court derives its powers from Constitution of Pakistan 1973. Article 185 to 188, 212, and 203F of the constitution of the Republic of Pakistan 1973 clearly deals with the jurisdiction of Supreme Court.

  1. Art 184(1) Original jurisdiction in inter-governmental disputes, issues declaratory judgments;
  2. Art 184(3) Enforcement of Fundamental Rights involving an issue of public importance;
  3. Art 185(2) Appeal from judgment/order of High Court in criminal cases, tried in original and/or appellate capacity and having imposed death penalty or life imprisonment;
  4. Art 185(2) Appeal in civil cases when the value of the claim exceeds fifty thousand rupees;
  5. Art 185(2) Appeal when High Court certifies that the case involves interpretation of the Constitution;
  6. Art 185(3) Appeal (subject to the grant of leave) from High Court judgment/order;
  7. Art 186 Advisory jurisdiction on any question of law involving public importance referred by the President;
  8. Art 187 To issue directions/orders for doing complete justice in a pending case/matter;
  9. Art 188 To review any of its own judgment/order;
  10. Art 204 To punish for its contempt;
  11. Art 212 Appeal from Administrative courts/tribunals; and
  12. Art 203F its Shariat Appellate Bench hears appeals from judgments/orders of Federal Shariat Court.

Jurisdiction of Federal Shariat Court

The jurisdiction of courts in Pakistan involving hadood and shariah lies solely to the federal Shariat court. This court was established in 1980 to hear those cases in which a question is raised that any particular act is against the Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH.

Article 203-D to 203-E of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 deals with the powers of the Federal Shariat court.

  • Art 203-D to determine whether a provision of law is objectionable to the Injunctions of Islam or not;
  • Art 203-DD Revisional Jurisdiction in cases under Hudood laws;
  • Art 203-E To review its judgment/order;
  • Art 203-E To punish for its contempt; and
  • Under Hudood laws, hears appeals from judgment/order of criminal courts.

Jurisdiction of High Court in Pakistan

There are High Courts in every province of the Pakistan. Now the high courts also have their sub-branches established at the various cities in every province. High Court of each provinces perform the administrative control over the lower court. The powers and jurisdiction of High Courts are explained in our constitution and Cr.P.C 1898.

  • Art 199(1) to issue 5 writs namely mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, habeas corpus, and quo warranto;
  • Art 199(2) Enforcement of Fundamental Rights;
  • Art 203: deals with the supervise/control over subordinate courts;
  • Art 204: To punish for its contempt
  • To hear an appeal under section 100 of CPC
  • To decide reference under section 100 of CPC
  • Power of review under section 114 of CPC
  • Power of revision under section 115 of CPC;
  • Appeals under section 410 of Cr.P.C
  • Appeals against acquittal under section 411-A(2) of Cr.P.C
  • Appeals against judgment/decree/order of tribunals under special laws;
  • To issue directions of the nature of habeas corpus in the application under section 491 of Cr.P.C;
  • Power of revision under section 439 Cr.P.C
  • Hedge Inter-Court appeal at Lahore High Court and High Court of Sindh,

Jurisdiction of District & Session Judge/Addl. District & Session Judge

The court of district and additional district judge is established under the civil court ordinance 1962. Whereas the Court of Sessions and Additional sessions judge perform their function under the code of criminal procedure.

The jurisdiction of these courts in Pakistan is explained in civil as well as criminal procedure code.

  • An appeal against judgment/decree of a Civil Judge under section 96 of CPC;
  • Appeal against an order under section 104 of CPC;
  • Power of revision under section 115 of CPC;
  • Original jurisdiction in suits upon bills of exchange, hundis, or promissory notes under Order XXXVII of CPC
  • Murder trial under section 265 of the Cr.P.C
  • Criminal trial under Hudood laws
  • Appeals under section 408 of Cr.P.C;
  • Power of revision under section 439-A of Cr.P.C
  • To issue directions of the nature of habeas corpus under section 491 of Cr.P.C and
  • Decides pre-arrest bail applications under section 498 of the Cr. PC.
  • Being An Ex-Officio Justice of the Peace may issue appropriate directions to the police authorities concerned on a complaint regarding (i) nonregistration of a criminal case; (ii) transfer of investigation from one police officer to another; and (iii) neglect, failure or excess committed by a police authority in relation to its functions and duties.

Civil Judge Class 1st

Again it’s the civil court ordinance 1962 under which civil court are established. Their pecuniary jurisdiction is determined by the high court through their notifications supplemented with high court rules and orders.

However their territorial jurisdiction is mentioned in civil procedure code 1908. Their jurisdiction is as under;

  • To try all civil suits, there is no pecuniary limit on its jurisdiction;
  • In certain jurisdictions also designated as Rent Controller,
  • In certain jurisdictions also designated as Judge, Family Court;

Civil Judge Class 2nd

To try civil suit up to the value of Rs. 50,00,00/- (Rs. 5- Million) ; and

In certain jurisdictions designated as Rent Controller/Judge, Family Court.

Civil Judge Class 3rd

To try civil suit up to the value of Rs. 10,00,000/- (Rs. 1-Million)

Magistrate Class 1st

The Magistrate Class 1st has the following powers:

  • To try offenses punishable up to 3 years imprisonment and forty-five thousand rupees fine.
  • As Mobile Court under section 12 Cr.P.C
  • As Judicial Magistrate under section 14 Cr.P.C as area Magistrate to handle:
  1. Remands
  2. Discharge Reports etc.

Magistrate Class 2nd

The Magistrate Class 2nd has the following powers:

To try offences punishable up to 1 year.

Magistrate Class 3rd

The Magistrate Class 3rd has the following powers:

  • Fifteen thousand rupees fine – Magistrate empowered under section 30 of Cr.P.C
  • To try all offenses not punishable with death.
  • But can’t pass a sentence of death or imprisonment exceeding 7 years.


To sum the discussion it can be said that there are different courts working with different jurisdictions in Pakistan. These courts derives their power from Constitution of Pakistan 1973, the code of criminal procedure 1898, the code of civil procedure 1908, and the civil court ordinance 1962. All of these laws provides for the smooth functioning of these courts with different jurisdictions.

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