Federal Shariat Court

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Federal Shariat Court
Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan ( Chief Justice, Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan).jpg
Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan, Chief Justice of the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan 2009–2014
Established 1980
Country Pakistan
Location Constitution Avenue,opposite Prime Minister's Secretariat - Pakistan Islamabad
Composition method Presidential with confirmation of Chief Justice of Pakistan
Authorized by Constitution of Pakistan
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of Pakistan
Judge term length Till 3 years
Number of positions 8
Website Federal Shariat Court
Chief Justice
Currently Hon'ble Mr. Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan
Since June 5, 2014[1]

The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) of Pakistan is a court which has the power to examine and determine whether the laws of the country comply with Shari'a law. It consists of 8 Muslim judges appointed by the President of Pakistan after consulting the Chief Justice of this Court, from amongst the serving or retired judges of the Supreme Court or a High Court or from amongst persons possessing the qualifications of judges of a High Court. Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan is the current Chief Justice of the court. Of the 8 judges, 3 are required to be Ulema who are well versed in Islamic law. The judges hold office for a period of 3 years, which may eventually be extended by the President.

Appeal against its decisions lie to the Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court, consisting of 3 Muslim judges of the Supreme Court and 2 Ulema, appointed by the President. If any part of the law is declared to be against Islamic law, the government is required to take necessary steps to amend such law appropriately.

The court also exercises revisional jurisdiction over the criminal courts, deciding Hudood cases. The decisions of the court are binding on the High Courts as well as subordinate judiciary. The court appoints its own staff and frames its own rules of procedure.

Ever since its establishment in 1980, the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan has been the subject of criticism and controversy in the society. Created as an islamisation measure by the military regime and subsequently protected under the controversial 8th Amendment, its opponents question the very rationale and utility of this institution. It is stated that this court merely duplicates the functions of the existing superior courts and also operates as a check on the sovereignty of Parliament. The composition of the court, particularly the mode of appointment of its judges and the insecurity of their tenure, is taken exception to, and it is alleged, that this court does not fully meet the criterion prescribed for the independence of the judiciary. That is to say, it is not immune to pressures and influences from the Executive.

In 1982 the Federal Shariat Court ruled that there is no prohibition in the Qur’an or hadith about the judgeship of woman nor any restriction limiting the function of deciding disputes to men only.[2] In 2013 Ashraf Jehan became the first female justice of the Federal Shariat Court.[3]

Honourable Chief Justice and Judges[edit]

Sr. No Name of the Judge designation Date of Appointment Date of Retirement Former Position
1 Justice Fida Muhammad Khan Judge 02-08-1988
05-07-2011 reappointed
2 Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan Chief Justice 05-06-2009 04-07-2014 Sindh High Court
3 Justice Rizwan Ali Dodani Judge 05-07-2011 04-07-2014 Sindh High Court Bar Association
Islamabad High Court Bar Association
4 Justice Ashraf Jehan Judge 30-12-2013 29-12-2016 Sindh High Court
5 Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan Chief Justice 05-06-2014 Supreme Court of Pakistan
6 Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan Judge to be announced Islamabad High Court
7 Justice Sheikh Najmul Hassan Judge to be announced Lahore High Court
8 Justice Zahoor Ahmad Shahwani Judge to be announced Balochistan High Court Bar Association

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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