The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed different petitions against Justice of Peace/District and Sessions Judges authority to direct police for registration of First Information Report (FIR).
The apex court issued its 28-pages reserved judgment authored by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan. The five-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and comprising Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik had reserved the judgment on February 12, 2016.
The court in its judgment stated that the Sessions judge has the power of Justice of Peace which was not contradictory to the fundamental rights mentioned in the constitution.
The court stated a provision of law can be declared ultra vires if it is violative of the provisions of the Constitution which guarantee fundamental rights, independence of judiciary or its separation from the executive.
“An examination and empirical verification of these provisions will show that they do not infringe any of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. They on the contrary, not only facilitate their enforcement but also guard against their infringement by providing expeditious and inexpensive justice to the people at their doorstep,” it added.
The order further stated that it does not even remotely impinge upon the independence of judiciary nor does it militate against the concept of its separation from the executive. When the ex-officio Justice of Peace passes orders, issues directions, or takes actions under the aegis of judiciary rather than the executive, he instead of going under the thumb of the executive, in fact, brings the executive under the thumb of law.
“We, therefore, without a moment’s hesitation hold that these provisions cannot be declared ultra vires on either of the criteria mentioned above. Their vires even on the yardstick of the legislative competence cannot be questioned when we don’t find any defect in the legislative competence nor has it been imputed thereto by any of the parties before us.”
The order further stated that the functions performed by the ex-officio Justice of Peace being quasi judicial in nature cannot be termed as executive, administrative or ministerial; that such functions being complementary to those of the police do not amount to interference in the investigative domain of the latter and thus cannot be held to be violative of the judgments of this Court rendered in the cases of Muhammad Bashir. Vs. Station House Officer, Okara Cantt. and others and Brig. (Retd) Imtiaz Ahmad. Vs. Government of Pakistan through Secretary, Interior Division, Islamabad and 2 others (supra) and that insertion of sub-section 6 of Section 22-A and 25 of the Cr.P.C. through the Code of Criminal Procedure (3rd Amendment Ordinance) CXXXI of 2002 is not ultra vires by any attribute. In this view of the matter, we direct that the cases be listed before the benches for decision in accordance with law.
Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik also wrote additional note.