Contempt of Court in Pakistan

Contempt of Court in Pakistan concerns itself with individuals and/or organizations when they violate court proceedings through their actions. Depending on where and how the violation of the judicial proceedings took place, Contempt of Court can be brought before the court of law where there is a cause of action that took place and can carry a hefty fine or jail time.

In this article, we are going to discuss Contempt of Court in Pakistan, and how it works.

What is Contempt of Court?

Contempt, in its literal definition, means to disregard an otherwise important matter. Therefore, Contempt of Court is when someone goes against an order of a Court and/or Judge. This also covers an individual and/or organization’s conduct in court in its broader definition.

Intentionally defying an order from Court is considered a Contempt of Court, For example, if a Judge presiding a case passes an order for both parties to adhere to, and one party does not comply with the order of the court (and is also unable to justify their actions) then that party would be liable for Contempt of Court. In its broader sense, if someone insults a judge, they would also be liable for Contempt of Court in Pakistan.

Contempt of Court Laws in Pakistan

Contempt of Court in Pakistan are covered (mainly) in 4 areas;

  • The Constitution of Pakistan (Part VII, Chapter 4, Article 204)
  • The Pakistan Penal Code (Chapter X, Articles 172-190)
  • The Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003
  • The Family Courts Act, 1964 (Section 16)

Article 204: Contempt of Court

(2) A Court shall have power to punish any person who,

(a) abuses, interferes with or obstructs the process of the Court in any way or disobeys any order of the Court;

(b) scandalizes the Court or otherwise does anything which tends to bring the Court or a Judge of the Court into hatred, ridicule or contempt;

(c) does anything which tends to prejudice the determination of a matter pending before the Court; or

(d) does any other thing which, by law, constitutes contempt of the Court.

Constitution of Pakistan (1973) Part VII, Chapter 4

The penalties for Contempt of Court in Pakistan vary, from a simple fine of Rs.2,000/- (In Family court) all the way up to 7 years jail time (In the Pakistan Penal Code). It is worthwhile to note that lying to the court would be deemed as Perjury, whilst giving false documents would be considered Forgery.

The types of Contempt of Court in Pakistan

There are 3 types of Contempt of Courts in Pakistan

  • Civil
  • Criminal
  • Judicial

“When a Contemnor had crossed the boundary of decency and morality by a calculated move with an aim to obstruct and diminish the administration of justice, he could not be allowed to escape the consequences (of contempt of court) by pleading freedom of speech and expression”

2019 SCMR 542

How to submit a case for Contempt of Court in Pakistan?

Depending on the complexity and nature of the matter, Contempt of Court in Pakistan can be filed as an application or an additional suit to the existing case that the Contempt took place in. For more information on Contempt of Court in Pakistan, Contact us via WhatsApp om 0308 551 0031 (or if you’re contacting us from outside of Pakistan, WhatsApp us on 0092 308 5510031)

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