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Judicious Interpretative Paradigm for Exercising PIL Jurisdiction: A Critical Appraisal of Jurists Foundation Case 2020
AbstractPublic Interest Litigation (PIL) is judicial review based constitutional adjudication for the enforcement of fundamental rights. Of course such jurisdiction is not expressly provided in the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 (Constitution, 1973). It is rather implicit and discretionary jurisdiction under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution, 1973 (Article 184 (3)). However, such jurisdiction is required to be exercised within the constitutional parameters and judicial jurisprudence as developed in Benazir Bhutto v. Federation of Pakistan ( Benazir Bhutto, 1988).The decision in this case proved to be the first leading PIL judgement in judicial history of Pakistan. Subsequent to Benazir Bhutto (1988), Supreme Court of Pakistan (Supreme Court) has exercised PIL jurisdiction in a number of cases. Yet, exercising of PIL is alleged for certain problems which are because of judicial overreach and self-restraint. Of course, in some cases Supreme Court exercised the judicious interpretative approach while exercising PIL jurisdiction. Among others, the judgement in Jurists Foundation v. Federal Government (Jurists Foundation, 2020) has emerged as a classical paradigm of such approach. The judicial review power as exercised by the Supreme Court was neither suffering overreach nor passivism. Rather it was a balanced interpretative approach of judicious nature avoiding the problems usually arising from exercising of PIL jurisdiction.
- Dr. Barkat Ali
- Assistant Professor, Department of Law, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan