THE FEDERAL SHARIAT COURT’S ROLE TO DETERMINE THE SCOPE OF ‘INJUNCTIONS OF ISLAM’ AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
Shahbaz Ahmad Cheema*
The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) of Pakistan has been granted extensive power to determine validity of any law or custom having the force of law on the yardstick of ‘injunctions of Islam’. It is the original jurisdiction of the court. This paper explores the scope of ‘injunctions of Islam’ as construed by the FSC along with its implications on the constitutional system of Pakistan. Although it is an important jurisdiction having many implications for the role of Islam and its introduction into the legal system by judicial pronouncements, the irony of this jurisdiction is that it’s very foundation, i.e. ‘injunctions of Islam’ has not been defined precisely by the Constitution of Pakistan. Leaving this important phrase undefined, the Constitution has abdicated its task to the FSC. Hence, the court has to give a connotation to the ‘injunctions of Islam’ in order to exercise its jurisdiction. The paper posits that the court’s exercise of jurisdiction in this regard is somewhat ambivalent and amounting to interference in the tasks assigned to other constitutional courts.