The Provincial Laws can only be Interpreted by the HC of the Respective Province, not by any other HC


The Provincial Laws can only be Interpreted by the HC of the Respective Province, not by any other HC

In a five-page short judgment, the Supreme Court held that we have five High Courts across the country. Every High Court has its own territorial jurisdiction. The provinces have their own laws applicable to their respective territorial limits alone.ย  A High Court of one province is not mandated to interpret law/s of another province when a question of interpretation of a statute is involved in a case. Such case can only be entertained by the High Court of the province where the statute has been enacted not by any other High Court, even not the Islamabad High Court.

In the case at hand, a services agreement was executed between the parties in Islamabad. The head offices of the parties were also located at Islamabad. A dispute with regard to the payment of tax arose between the parties. The petitioner invoked the jurisdiction of the Islamabad High Court to address the issue of liability of the services tax. Four provincial services tax statutes were involved in this case. The IHC initially ruled in favor of the petitioner and put the liability of the services tax on the respondent but the same ruling was reversed in Intra Court Appeal. Being aggrieved, the petitioner knocked the door of the Supreme Court where the SC ruled that the statues whose interpretation was involved were provincial statues. Thus, it was best to be interpreted by a provincial High Court not by the Islamabad High Court.

The Court further held that a High Court cannot entertain contractual issues, especially purely technical ones,ย  in its Constitutional jurisdiction. This jurisdiction has its boundaries and they must beย  respected and protected. The petition was dismissed.

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