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Article: 203D Powers, jurisdiction and functions of the Court

203D. Powers, jurisdiction and functions of the Court.—(1) The Court may, 1[either of its own motion or] 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 Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, hereinafter referred to as the Injunctions of Islam.

2[(1A) Where the Court takes up the examination of any law or provision of law under clause (1) and such law or provision of law appears to it to be repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam, the Court shall cause to be given to the Federal Government in the case of a law with respect to a matter in the Federal Legislative List 3[****], or to the Provincial Government in the case of a law with respect to a matter not enumerated 3[the Federal Legislative List], a notice specifying the particular provisions that appear to it to be so repugnant, and afford to such Government adequate opportunity to have its point of view placed before the Court.]

(2)  If the 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;

specify the day on which the decision shall take effect 4[:]

4[Provided that no such decision shall be deemed to take effect before the expiration of the period within which an appeal therefrom may be preferred to the Supreme Court or, where an appeal has been so preferred, before the disposal of such appeal.]

(3)  If any law or provision of law is held by the 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 Court takes effect.

5[(4)] Omitted.

6[203DD. Revisional and other jurisdiction of the Court.—(1)  The Court may call for and examine the record of any case decided by any criminal court under any law relating to the enforcement of Hudood for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of any finding, sentence or order recorded or passed by, and as to the regularity of any proceedings of, such Court and may, when calling for such record, direct that the execution of any sentence be suspended and, if the accused is in confinement, that  he be released on bail or on his own bond pending the examination of the record.

(2)  In any case the record of which has been called for by the Court, the Court may pass such order as it  may deem fit and may enhance the sentence:

Provided that nothing in this article shall be deemed to authorise the Court to convert a finding of acquittal into one of conviction and no order under this Article shall be made to the prejudice of the accused unless he has had an opportunity of being heard in his own defence.

(3)  The Court shall have such other jurisdiction as may be conferred on it by or under any law.]

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Footnotes:

1.  Section 4 of the Constitution (Second Amendment) Order 1982, P.O. No. 5 of 1982, inserted the said words in clause 1 of Art. 203D, (w.e.f. March 22, 1982).

2.  Section 2(a) of the Constitution (Amendment) Order, 1984, P.O. No. 1 of 1984, inserted clause (1A) to Art. 203D, (w.e.f. February 14, 1984).

3. Section 75 of the Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act, 2010 (10 of 2010), omitted the words “or the Concurrent Legislative List” and thereafter substituted the said words in place of the words “in either of those lists” in clause (1A) of Art. 203D, (w.e.f. April 19, 2010).

4.  Section 2(b)  of the Constitution (Amendment) Order, 1984, P.O. No. 1 of  1984, substituted a colon for the full stop at the end of clause 2 of Art. 203D, and added the proviso thereto, (w.e.f. February 14, 1984). The proviso shall be deemed to have always been a part of the said clause 2.

5.  Section 3 of the Constitution (Second Amendment) Order, 1980, P.O. No. 4 of 1980, omitted clause 4 of Art. 203D (w.e.f. June 21, 1980). The deleted clause read :

“(4) A decision of the Court shall be expressed in terms of the opinion of the majority of its members and shall be published in the official Gazette”.

6.  Section 5 of the Constitution (Second Amendment) Order 1982, P.O. No. 5 of  1982, substituted Art. 203DD, in its present form, (w.e.f. March 25, 1982), in place of the said Art. as inserted by section 4 of the Constitution (Second Amendment) Order 1980, P.O. No. 4 of 1980, (w.e.f. June 21, 1980), that read :

“203DD. Further jurisdiction of the Court:—The Court shall have such other jurisdiction as may be conferred on it by or under any law.”


Comparative Table of Article 203D 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 203D of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 :


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