The Sindh High Court is one of the five high courts in Pakistan and is located in the city of Karachi, the capital of Sindh. The high court serves as the appellate court for the province, as well as the court of original jurisdiction for certain cases.
It also has the power to strike down laws and regulations that are deemed to be in violation of the Constitution and can direct the executive branch of government to take specific actions in order to safeguard the rights of citizens. It is an essential institution for the protection of human rights and the promotion of the rule of law in Sindh.
The Sindh High Court is known for its progressive and forward-thinking decisions, which have often set important legal precedents in Pakistan. It has been a champion of individual rights and freedoms and has taken a strong stance on issues such as the protection of the environment and the rights of minority groups.
Graana.com has prepared a comprehensive overview of the history, jurisdiction, and significance of the Sindh High Court.
History of the Sindh High Court
The establishment of the Sindh High Court was formalised through the passage of the Sindh Courts Act in 1926. On April 1st, 1937, with the implementation of Part III of the Government of India Act, 1935, Sindh became its own province and the judges of the court of Judicial Commissioner of Sindh were appointed by the British government through a royal warrant.
Initially, the number of judges on the Karachi bench of the High Court of West Pakistan was nearly the same, but it was later increased to 15.
Upon the separation of the Sindh and Balochistan high courts, 12 judges were assigned to the Sindh High Court and three judges to the Balochistan High Court. Currently, the approved strength of judges for the Sindh High Court is 28, but only 24 judges have been appointed.
Jurisdiction of the Sindh High Court
The court has original jurisdiction over cases involving public interest, election disputes, and issues relating to the protection of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of Pakistan.
The court also has appellate jurisdiction over cases decided by lower courts in the province of Sindh, including the Civil and Sessions Courts, and the District and Sessions Courts.
Significance of the Sindh High Court
The Sindh High Court is a vital institution that plays a crucial role in the administration of justice in Sindh. The court’s jurisdiction over a wide range of cases and its appellate authority make it an essential source of legal guidance and interpretation for the residents.
In addition, its decisions set important legal precedents that are followed by lower courts in the area and throughout Pakistan.
The Infrastructure of the Sindh High Court
The main building of the Sindh High Court was constructed between 1923 and 1929 at a cost of Rs. 30,35,000, which was initially estimated at Rs. 39,75,248. Despite being designed to accommodate five judges, the building now houses benches, courtrooms, chambers for 18 judges, offices for the Attorney-General, Deputy Attorney-General, and the High Court Bar Library.
The Supreme Court Registry was also based in the high court building, using two courtrooms and three chambers until it was relocated.
However, this did not ease the shortage of accommodation and, in 1974, an annexe building was constructed at a cost of Rs. 4.4 million, which now provides office space for the Ministry of Justice, the Special Banking Court, and the Sindh Bar Council.
The High Court of Sindh comprises a chief justice and 27 judges. The appointment of a judge in a high court is made by the president, following discussions with the chief justice of Pakistan, the governor of the province, and the chief justice of the relevant high court.
An individual can only be appointed as a judge if they are a Pakistani citizen of at least 40 years of age, and have served as a high court advocate or held a judicial position for at least 10 years, including a minimum of 3 years as a district judge.
The judges hold their position until they reach the age of 62, or choose to resign, or are removed from office due to violation of the Constitution.
The main headquarters of the High Court of Sindh is located in Karachi, with additional benches in Hyderabad, Sukkur, and Larkana.
The governor, with the advice of the cabinet and consultation with the chief justice of the high court, has the authority to determine the jurisdiction of additional benches at other locations.
Former Chief Justices of Sindh High Court
The following is s list of former chief justices of the Sindh High Court below:
|1||Justice Abdul Kadir Shaikh||01-12-1976 to 30-06-1979|
|2||Justice Agha Ali Hyder||01-07-1979 to 24-03-1981|
|3||Justice Abdul Hayee Qureshi||25-03-1981 to 19-01-1986|
|4||Justice Naimuddin Ahmed||21-01-1986 to 03-09-1988|
|5||Justice Ajmal Mian||04-09-1988 to 12-12-1989|
|6||Justice Sajjad Ali Shah||13-12-1989 to 04-11-1990|
|7||Justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui||05-11-1990 to 21-05-1992|
|8||Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid||23-05-1992 to 15-04-1994|
|9||Justice Abdul Hafeez Memon (Acting Chief Justice)||16-04-1994 to 14-04-1996|
|10||Justice Mamoon Kazi||15-04-1996 to 04-11-1997|
|11||Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed||05-11-1997 to 04-05-1998|
|13||Justice Kamal Mansur Alam||05-05-1998 to 21-04-1999|
|14||Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui||22-04-1999 to 03-02-2000|
|15||Justice Syed Deedar Hussain Shah||04-02-2000 to 27-04-2000|
|16||Justice Saiyed Saeed Ashhad||28-04-2000 to 04-04-2005|
|17||Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed||05-04-2005 to 03-11-2007|
|18||Justice Afzal Soomro||03-11-2007 to 15-05-2008|
|19||Justice Azizullah M. Memon (Acting Chief Justice)||15-05-2008 to 27-08-2008|
|20||Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali||28-08-2008 to 02-08-2009|
|21||Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany||03-08-2009 to 13-02-2011|
|22||Justice Mushir Alam||14-02-2011 to 19-09-2013|
|23||Justice Maqbool Baqar||20-09-2013 to 16-02-2015|
|24||Justice Faisal Arab||17-02-2015 to 13-12-2015|
|25||Justice Syed Sajjad Ali Shah||14-12-2015 to 15-03-2017|
The current Chief Justice of High Court of Sindh is Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh. He took oath as the Chief Justice of High Court of Sindh on 15th March, 2017.
Judges of Sindh High Court
The appointment of additional judges begins with a one-year term, after which their services may be extended, confirmed, or terminated. Presently, the Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court is Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh.
|1||Ahmed Ali Sheikh||25 September 2009||2 October 2023|
|2||Irfan Saadat Khan||25 September 2009||6 February 2025|
|3||Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi||25 September 2009||15 June 2025|
|4||Nadeem Akhtar||20 March 2012||15 February 2024|
|5||Muhammad Shafi Siddiqui||20 March 2012||11 August 2027|
|6||Naimatullah Phulpoto||1 June 2012||4 February 2025|
|7||Aftab Ahmed Gorar||27 June 2012||31 December 2023|
|8||Salahuddin Panhwar||27 June 2012||8 August 2028|
|9||Muhammad Junaid Ghaffar||31 August 2013||13 September 2025|
|10||Zafar Ahmed Rajput||31 August 2013||15 October 2027|
|11||Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro||30 May 2014||18 July 2030|
|12||Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan||30 October 2015||31 July 2025|
|13||Mahmood A. Khan||30 October 2015||23 July 2026|
|14||Muhammad Karim Khan Agha||30 October 2015||19 September 2026|
Address: Near Passport Office Saddar, Karachi & Sindh Secretariat, Karachi
Email Address: [email protected]
Contact Number: (021) 99203151-9
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