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P L D 1998 KARACHI 189

PERCY ROBINSON AND OTHERS
V/S
REVEREND BASHIR JIWAN AND OTHERS
Per Jiwan, J.

(a) Constitution of Pakistan (1973), Arts. 20 & 199
r/w Contract Act (IX of 1872) S. 2(h)

Perusal of prayer would reveal that no prayer has been made in relation to the privacy of petitioners 5 to 8. On the face of petition this petition is bad in law for misjoinder of petitioners. Petitioners 1 to 4 claim to be members of St. Saviour Church. They were not entitled to live or use the vicarage house which is the subject-matter of this petition. Church members by themselves cannot assume the function of church administrators. They may have some say through their elders or deans to be appointed or elected according to the Constitution of the Church itself. By becoming member or attending Church service, petitioners cannot claim relief particularly involving contractual obligations undertaken by the hierarchy of the church. Petitioners 1 to 4 on the strength that they are the members of the church cannot claim the relief which has been claimed by them in this petition as they are not aggrieved persons nor do they have any right to claim any relief in relation to the contracts executed by the hierarchy of the church with the respondent No. 6. [p. 191] A

(b) Constitution of Pakistan (1973), Arts. 20 & 199
r/w Contract Act (IX of 1872) S. 2(h)

It has been stated that the religious feelings of the petitioners are hurt by conversion of Vicar House for commercial purpose and therefore, they are aggrieved persons. Churches are granted freedom to manage their affairs like any other religious body. Such right is given to the churches by the Constitution under Article 20. They are free to enter into any valid contract for management of their property in any manner (subject to the exceptions mentioned in that Article). Petitioners are only members of the church. They are neither elders nor deams. Their grievance, if any, is only imaginary and by development of church property, the sentiments of petitioners could not be hurt. [p. 191, 192] B

Coming to the prayer it may be noticed that the prayer only involved the relief of declaration and injunction. No relief has been sought against the official respondent i.e. respondent No. 7. This Court does not entertain matters involving contractual obligations between the private parties to which officials of State are not involved more particularly when such contractual obligations would require evidence for resolution. Even the prayer prayed by the petitioners could not be granted by this court in the Constitutional jurisdiction. For all these reasons, this petition has no merit and is dismissed in limine alongwith all miscellaneous applications. [p. 192] C

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