Navigating the Appeals Process in Pakistan’s Legal System: A Comprehensive Guide



Navigating the Appeals Process in Pakistan’s Legal System: A Comprehensive Guide


Navigating the legal system can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to appealing a decision in Pakistan. Understanding the appeal process is crucial for anyone seeking to challenge a court ruling. This blog post aims to demystify the appeals process in Pakistan, covering key aspects like the timing for appeals, the procedure involved, the different types of benches in appeal courts, and a conclusion to tie it all together.

Time of Appeal

In Pakistan, the time frame for filing an appeal is critical and varies based on the type of case. For civil cases, an appeal must typically be filed within 30 days from the date of the decision. In criminal cases, the appeal period can vary, but it generally also adheres to a 30-day timeframe. It’s important to note that these time limits are strict, and failure to appeal within this period may result in the loss of the right to appeal.

The Appeal Process

The appeal process in Pakistan involves several steps:

Filing of Appeal: The first step is to file an appeal in the appropriate appellate court. This involves submitting a detailed appeal petition, which outlines the grounds for the appeal and the errors in the lower court’s judgment.

Admission of Appeal: Once filed, the appeal will be reviewed for admission. If the appellate court finds merit in the appeal, it will admit it for a full hearing.

Hearing: During the hearing, both parties (the appellant and the respondent) present their arguments. The appellant argues why the lower court’s decision was incorrect, while the respondent defends the decision.

Judgment: After the hearing, the appellate court will deliver its judgment, which can either uphold, modify, or overturn the lower court’s decision.

Different Types of Benches in Appeal

In Pakistan, appellate courts have different types of benches for hearing appeals:

Single Bench: Comprising one judge, usually deals with less complex or lower-value cases.

Division Bench: Consists of two judges and is typically reserved for more complex or significant cases.

Larger Bench: Formed in special circumstances where the matter is of great significance or requires resolution of a legal question that affects a larger segment of society. This bench consists of more than two judges.


The appeals process in Pakistan’s legal system offers a crucial avenue for justice and correction of legal errors. It is essential for appellants to understand the nuances of this process, adhere strictly to timelines, and prepare their cases thoroughly. Whether it’s a single bench or a larger bench, each type plays a vital role in ensuring that justice is served. Navigating this process with the right knowledge and preparation can make a significant difference in the outcome of a legal battle.


Temporarily halt the implementation of the 40% windfall tax on banks.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued an order to temporarily halt the implementation of the 40% windfall tax on banks.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued a temporary suspension of the government’s imposition of a one-time 40 percent tax on bank profits originating from foreign exchange transactions in the past two years. This suspension, effective until December 8, is a response to a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) linked to Section 99D of the Income Tax Ordinance 2021, which was introduced through the Finance Act 2023.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) clarified that the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) proposal had received cabinet approval. The government’s decision stemmed from concerns over substantial profits, reportedly around Rs110 billion, earned by banks in 2021 and 2022 through speculative rupee-dollar trading.

Contrary to analysts’ expectations, the potential implementation of the windfall tax could generate over Rs40 billion in revenue for the government.

Justice Sardar Ejaz Ishaq Khan of the IHC has issued notices to the Secretary of the Revenue Division and others for the upcoming hearing. The court’s decision followed a writ petition filed by Askari Bank Ltd against the SRO issued on November 21, which mandated a 40 percent tax on banks’ windfall income calculated using a specified formula.

During the proceedings, the FBR’s legal representative argued that the legislation would remain in effect until otherwise declared. However, the judge acknowledged the petitioner’s argument that interim relief was specifically sought concerning the SRO—an executive act, not legislation.

As a result, Justice Khan ordered, “The foregoing submissions, therefore, demonstrate not only a prima facie case but also that the ingredients of the balance of convenience and irreparable loss operate in favor of the petitioner. Resultantly, the operation of the impugned SRO shall remain suspended until the next date of hearing