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Article: 203B Definitions

1[203B. Definitions.-In this Chapter, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,-

2[(a) “Chief Justice” means Chief Justice of the Court;]

(b) “Court” means the Federal Shariat Court constituted in pursuance of Article 203C.

3[(bb) “Judge” means judge of the Court;]

(c) “law” includes any custom or usage having the force of law but does not include the Constitution, Muslim personal law, any law relating to the procedure of any court or tribunal or, until the expiration of 4[ten] years from the commencement of this Chapter, any fiscal law or any law relating to the levy and collection of taxes and fees or banking insurance practice and procedure; and

5[(d)*****] Omitted.]

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Footnotes:

1. Section 3 of the Constitution (Amendment) Order 1980, P.O. No. 1 of 1980, substituted Art. 203B of chapter 3A, in its present form, (w.e.f. June 5, 1980), in place of Art. 203B of chapter 3A, inserted by section 2 of the Constitution (Amendment) Order, 1979 P.O. No. 3 of 1979, (w.e.f. February 10, 1979). Art. 203B of the said chapter as inserted at that time read:
203B. Conferment of jurisdiction on High Court. –(1) A High Court may, on the petition of a citizen of Pakistan or the Federal Government or a Provincial Government, examine and decide the question whether or not any law or provision of law is repugnant to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, hereafter in this Chapter referred to as the Injunction of Islam.
Explanation. — In this Chapter, “law” includes any custom or usage — having the force of law but does not include the Constitution, Muslim personal law, any law relating to the procedure of any Court or tribunal or, until the expiration of three years from the commencement of this Chapter, any fiscal law, or any law relating to the collection of taxes and fees or banking or insurance practice and procedure.
(2) If the High Court decides that any law or provision of law is repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam, it shall set out in its decision–
(a) the reasons for its holding that opinion; and
(b) the extent to which such law or provision is so repugnant; and specify the day on which the decision shall take effect.
(3) Every decision of the High Court shall be published in the official Gazette.
(4) If any law or provision of law is held by the High Court to be repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam:–
(a) the President in the case of a law with respect to a matter in the Federal Legislative List or the concurrent Legislative List, or the Governor in the case of a Law with respect to a matter not enumerated in either of those Lists, shall take steps to amend the law so as to bring such law or provision into conformity with the Injunctions of Islam; and
(b) such law or provision shall to the extent to which it is held to be so repugnant, cease
to have effect on the day on which the decision of the High Court takes effect.
(5) A party to any proceedings before the High Court under clause (1) may be represented by a legal practitioner who is a Muslim who has been enrolled as an advocate of a High Court for a period of not less than five years or as an advocate of the Supreme Court or by a jurisconsult selected by the party from out of a panel of jurisconsults maintained by the High Court for the purpose.
(6) For being eligible to have his name borne on the panel of jurisconsults referred to in clause (5), a person shall be an aalim who, in the opinion of the High Court, is well-versed in Shariat.
(7) A legal practitioner or jurisconsult representing a party before the High Court shall not plead for the party but shall state, expound and interpret the Injunctions of Islam relevant to the proceedings so far as may be known to him and submit to the Court a written statement of his interpretation of such Injunctions of Islam.
(8) The High Court may invite any person in Pakistan or abroad whom the High Court considers to be well-versed in Islamic law to appear before it and render such assistance as may be required of him.
(9) No court-fee shall be payable in respect of any petition or application made to a High Court under this Article.
(10) For the purpose of the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred by this Article, there shall be constituted in each High Court a Bench consisting of three Muslim Judges of the High Court, to be called the Shariat Bench; and reference in the preceding clauses to the High Court shall be construed as a reference to the Shariat Bench.

2. Section 2(a) of the Constitution (Second Amendment) Order 1982, P.O. No. 5 of 1982, deleted, by substitution paragraph (a) of Art. 203B, (w.e.f. March 25, 1982). The deleted paragraph (a) was inserted, by substitution by section 3 of the Constitution (Amendment) Order, 1980, P.O. No. 1 of 1980, (w.e.f. May 27, 1980). The deleted paragraph (a) read :
“(a) Chairman means Chairman of the Court”

3. Section 2(b) of the Constitution (Second Amendment) Order 1982, P.O. No. 5 of 1982, inserted paragraph (bb) in Art. 203B, (w.e.f. March 25, 1982).

4. Item 42 of the schedule to P.O. No. 14 of 1985, substituted the said word in paragraph (c) of Art. 203B, (w.e.f. March 2, 1985), in place of the word “five” substituted by section 2 of the Constitution (Second Amendment) Order, 1984 P.O. No. 2 of 1984 (w.e.f. April 26, 1974).

Paragraph (c) of Art. 203B contained the word “three”, as first inserted, by substitution, by section 3 of the Constitution (Amendment) Order, 1980, P.O. No. 1 of 1980, (w.e.f. May 27, 1980). Thereafter, section 2 of the Constitution (Second Amendment) Order 1983, P.O. No. 7 of 1983, substituted the word “four” in place thereof, (w.e.f. May 19, 1983).

5. Section 2(c) of the Constitution (Second Amendment) Order 1982, P.O. No. 5 of 1982, deleted paragraph (d) of Art. 203B, (w.e.f. March 25, 1982). The deleted paragraph was inserted, by substitution, by section 3 of the Constitution (Amendment) Order, 1980, P.O. No. 1 of 1980, (w.e.f. May 27, 1980). The deleted paragraph (d) read :
” (d) member means member of the Court.”


Comparative Table of Article 203B of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973
Constitution of Pakistan 1962 :
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 :

Constitution of India 1950:
Government of India Act 1935:

Leading & Latest Cases on Article 203B of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 :


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