Table of Contents
Overview of Article 185 of the Constitution of Pakistan
At the heart of the constitutional framework of Pakistan lies Article 185, a provision intricately woven to confer upon the Supreme Court the authority to hear and determine appeals. This blog post aims to unravel the layers of Article 185, shedding light on its significance in the tapestry of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan.
Article 185 States
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- if the High Court has withdrawn for trial before itself any case from any court subordinate to it and has in such trial convicted the accused person and sentenced him as aforesaid; or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.
Key Points of Article 185 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Wide Range of Appeals: Article 185 grants the Supreme Court the power to hear appeals from a diverse array of legal decisions, including judgments, decrees, final orders, or sentences.
- Grounds for Appeal: This provision clearly outlines grounds for appeal, such as when the High Court reverses an order of acquittal or withdraws a case from trial by itself, punishment for contempt, disputes with significant monetary value or cases raising significant legal questions concerning interpretation of the Constitution.
- Leave to Appeal Requirement: For cases that do not fall within specified grounds, an appeal to the Supreme Court can only go forward if leave is granted by them first. This additional step ensures that their time and resources are dedicated towards cases with substantial legal or constitutional impact.
Crux of Article 185 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 185 serves as a legal compass, directing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with precision. Its multifaceted nature ensures that the Supreme Court, while possessing the authority to intervene in a broad spectrum of cases, does so judiciously. The provision safeguards against a flood of appeals, channeling the highest court’s attention to matters that resonate with constitutional principles or have significant societal implications.
The detailed enumeration of grounds for appeal reflects a nuanced understanding of legal complexities. By stipulating conditions under which the Supreme Court can be invoked, Article 185 contributes to the stability and efficiency of the legal system, preventing frivolous appeals and allowing the Supreme Court to focus on matters of substantial legal import.
Conclusion: Article 185 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 185 emerges as a linchpin in the constitutional architecture of Pakistan, embodying the delicate balance between accessibility to justice and the necessity for judicious use of the Supreme Court’s resources. Its careful crafting reflects the framers’ intent to establish a legal system that not only upholds the principles of justice and fairness but also ensures the effective functioning of the judiciary.
As we navigate the legal landscape of Pakistan, Article 185 stands as a sentinel, guarding against misuse of the appellate process while affirming the Supreme Court’s role as the ultimate arbiter of justice. It encapsulates the essence of the 1973 Constitution, providing a structured and principled approach to appeals and legal redress.