HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS IN PAKISTAN

The first legal action must be served on another party, court, or administrative body through Pakistan Process Service before the court, body, or other tribunals may exercise its jurisdiction over that individual and allow them to react. A process server serves the person on whose notice is to be served by delivering a set of court papers. 

A multilateral convention signed in Hague, Netherlands, on November 15, 1965, by members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law allows Pakistani process servers to serve civil and commercial issues in accordance with the Hague Convention. With it, plaintiffs may now serve papers on overseas parties who are located, functioning, or based reliably and efficiently. To serve the process in civil and commercial cases, the convention’s requirements are applicable.

BACKGROUND

There are four provincial and one federal civil courts in Pakistan, which are governed by the Civil Court Ordinance 1962, which has been enacted, with some revisions, in each of the four provinces, as well as Islamabad Capital Territory.

A single judge presides over each civil court and hears and determines all matters. In civil cases, the courts presided over by civil judges often serve as the initial level of appeal. Each class of civil judges has a separate monetary jurisdiction, and each class is subdivided into smaller groups. The appellate courts of district judges are the most common kind of appellate court. In certain situations, however, they act as first-instance tribunals for defamation proceedings. It is up to the extra district judge to perform the duties assigned by the district judge, and the additional district judge has the same authority as the district judge’s court. Karachi is a significant exception to this rule since the High Court of Sindh has been given original jurisdiction to hear civil claims valued at above PKR 15,000,000.00 

When a lawsuit is worth more than a district court judge’s decision, an appeal may be taken to the High Court. The High Court has the power to overturn a judgment by a district judge in appeals. In the event that a district judge’s judgment or decree cannot be appealed, a High Court revision may be filed to challenge that order or decree. The Supreme Court is the usual venue for appeals from the High Court.

Specialized courts and tribunals, such as those for banking disputes, rent disputes, consumer disputes, and intellectual property issues, have been established in Pakistan in addition to the country’s general civil court system. Administratively speaking, the multiple benches of a court may divide up cases.

All of Pakistan’s ordinary and specialized courts, as well as the five High Courts, are subject to the supervision of one of these courts. Despite the fact that the High Courts normally have appellate jurisdiction, they have been granted civil original jurisdiction by legislation in a number of different areas, including business and banking.

Judges in Pakistan are the only ones who can determine the case. Pakistan does not have a jury system. A passive role is taken by Pakistan’s court judges while hearing cases, as is usual in most common law nations, such as the United States and Canada. Judges in civil jurisdiction are obligated to follow the Code of Civil Procedure 1908’s Pakistan Process Service requirements in every case, including the determination of preliminary issues of jurisdiction, limitation, maintainability, and compliance with procedural formalities (payment of court fees, Pakistan Process Service fees, etc), the disposition of applications, framing issues, appointment commissions to record evidence and supervising recording and depositions of evidence.

PREACTION CLAIMS

The parties should take into account any pre-action factors while enacting Pakistan Process Service.  There is often no need to take any step prior to initiating civil litigation in the courts. Depending on the state, Pakistan Process Service notices may need to be sent to various government entities before a lawsuit can be filed.

As to the Code of Civil Procedure 1908, civil procedures begin with the filing of an action (plaintiff’s claim) in a first instance court and payment of court costs. Following a judge’s or judicial officer’s review of the plaint, a summons containing the claim papers is issued for Pakistan Process Service on the defendants or respondents using defined methods for service in order to file a reply in response to the claim by a certain date. As a last resort, the court might mandate Pakistan Process Service through publishing in the newspaper if registered mail and personal Pakistan Process Service fail to deliver the summons.

PROCEEDINGS IN A DOMESTIC COURT

There is a thirty-day deadline for responding to a summons in a civil case when a claim is filed in court, and the summons is sent to the opposing party for a response. An interlocutory application must accompany a claim in order to be heard by the court. The court considers whether the opposing party should be notified of the application and may make a preliminary order, such as an ad-interim injunction, on that application at this point. That application is then scheduled for a hearing in court. The opposing party is invited to submit a response to the application by the date of the hearing, as stated in the notice of the application. If a respondent files a reply, the claimant is usually given the option to respond to Pakistan Process Service. Thereafter, a hearing on the application is scheduled, and all parties are given an opportunity to present their side of the story.

Court proceedings are scheduled after a response has been received from either side or if the other party has been prevented from making one. This is when the court makes decisions about the case based on the pleadings made by the parties. These are the many legal and factual concerns that need to be addressed throughout the course of the proceedings. The case is slated for evidence recording after the difficulties have been resolved. There will be an opportunity for both parties to make oral arguments in court after the completion of the evidence before the court renders its final decision.

It is rare for a court’s procedural timetables to be properly implemented, even when it specifies deadlines and time periods for different parts of the case and specific dates for submitting Pakistan Process Service. Adjournments are more often requested and granted, and as a consequence, cases might be extended before they are finally resolved.

A case’s schedule is ultimately determined by the judge who is in charge of implementing all rules and regulations, including any deadlines imposed by law. As a result, parties have the ability to seek adjournments from courts, and judges are often flexible when it comes to this request

Documents and other evidence are not required to be held in a secure location until trial. Order XI of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 and its regulations control the discovery and examination of documents. Rule 14 gives the court the right to compel any party to provide documents in their custody or control pertaining to any topic in dispute during the proceedings. That process allows any party to request that any other party provide Pakistan Process Service documents that are referenced in their pleadings or affidavits for review by the party providing notice. Application to inspect Pakistan Process Service documents other than those referred to or contained in pleadings, and those that are held by the party in question, may only be granted by the court if it believes the document is necessary for the fair and efficient resolution of a suitor in order for the court to save money. Instead of discovery as used in the United States, the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 encourages the creation of narrowly targeted Pakistan Process Service documents.

In order for a party to use a piece of evidence, Pakistan Process Service must be presented with their pleadings. Affidavits of witnesses and specialists aren’t necessary to be exchanged between parties before the start of the trial, though. The Qanun-e-Shahadat Order 1984 codifies Pakistan’s evidence law. Prior to the start of the trial, each side must submit a list of witnesses and Pakistan Process Service documents they want to use. First comes the claimant, and then comes the defendant in order to comply with Pakistan Process Service.

Judges and commissions constituted by the court hear the testimony of witnesses of fact and experts. The testimony of the witnesses is recorded in a narrative manner by the judge or commission, as instructed.

Anyone who has a presumption of truth connected to a Pakistan Process Service document may produce it in evidence in court via the testimony of their lawyer during the examination-in-chief, or by making a declaration to that effect during cross-examination.

REQUIREMENTS for process SERVICE IN PAKISTAN

For Pakistan Process Service in domestic actions, the Central Authority of a State addressed may use one of two methods: either [A.] a method prescribed in its internal law for Pakistan Process Service of documents on persons within its territory, or [B.]  a method requested by the applicant, unless the requested method is incompatible with the law of a State addressed. Both options are acceptable. As long as the recipient of the document freely accepts Pakistan Process Service, the document may be served. Official language or one of the official languages of Pakistan must be used if the Pakistan Process Service document is to be served under Central Authority.

The Hague Service Convention made it easier for parties to serve each other in other contracting nations by establishing a simpler Pakistan Process Service. State governments must appoint a central authority to receive requests for assistance under the treaty. An official of the judiciary who is qualified to serve the Pakistan Process Service in the state where the service is to be made is entitled to transmit a request directly to the state’s central authority. Requests for Pakistan Process Service in the receiving state are handled by the receiving state’s centralized authority, generally via a local court. At this point, the central authority sends an acknowledgment to the court officer who requested it.

According to the Hague Convention, Pakistan Process Service papers may be served by postal or diplomatic/consular agents; judicial officers; authorities; or other competent individuals via numerous channels. Member nations may or may not approve these provisions as a lawful method of serving the papers in their jurisdiction under Articles 8 to 10. Using the Central Agency (Article 5) to deliver papers is mandatory for all member nations. As a rule, the Central Agency’s services take between four and a half and a year to complete. Even if a certificate of Pakistan Process Service or delivery from the Central Agency has not been obtained by the plaintiffs after six months, the convention provides them with a remedy. As long as a fair amount of time has passed, the Court may rule on the matter. Moreover, the court has the power to grant a temporary injunction or protective measure before the six-month waiting time is up in the event of an emergency.

Only states that have not objected to mail service under Article 10(a) of the convention and jurisdictions where the court action takes place to enable it under their relevant legislation to be sent by mail. In civil and commercial matters, Pakistan has ratified the Hague Convention on the Service of Process Outside the Sovereign State. 

There should be two sets of documentation and translations for each request. Pakistan’s Central Authority for the Hague Service Convention should be contacted. Either an attorney or a court clerk should complete the request form in the United States. Applicant’s name, address, and signature/stamp should contain the titles “attorney at law” or “court clerk.” Pakistan has officially objected to service under Article 10 in its Declarations and Reservations on the Hague Service Convention and does not authorize service via postal routes. 

No authorization from the Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention is required for US consular employees to conduct voluntary depositions of US persons in Pakistan, provided no force is employed. Depositions of non-U.S. nationals must be approved by the Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention before they may be carried out by U.S. consular employees. For depositions taken by commissioners, the Central Authority must be granted prior approval, regardless of the witness’s nationality. If the deponent consents, telephone depositions, and video teleconference testimony may be conducted. However, this usually requires collaboration between U.S. litigants and a Pakistani legal practice in order to make the necessary preparations. Any time a U.S. consular official is needed to swear in the witness, interpreter, or stenographer on behalf of the U.S. government, prior preparations must be made with the embassy.

Because it is not a signatory to the Hague  Evidence Convention, Pakistani public documents must still be legalized before they may be used in Pakistani courts. The U.S. Department of State Authentications Office may authenticate documents for use in Pakistan, and the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C., can authenticate the seal of the U.S. Department of State. The Secretary of State of the state in which the document was issued must first validate it.

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Sources

1. there is the district court, the supplementary district court, and the civil court.

2. There are various acts that have unique limitation periods in addition to the Limitation Act.

3. Pakistan’s Limitation Act 1908 (the Limitation Act) governs the time limits for filing all civil claims in the concerned civil courts in all provinces of Pakistan and the Islamabad Capital Territory, which provides for various time limits for bringing different kinds of claims, ranging up to 12 years.

There can be no waiver or suspension of statutory time restrictions and, unless there are specific exceptions given in the Limitation Act, any claim brought after the time limit has expired must be dismissed by a court.

4. Notifying the defendant of the intent to sue is required by legislation, such as the Defamation Ordinance 2002.

5. Advise given to a client by an advocate and contact between an advocate and a client are protected and cannot be forced in evidence under the applicable legislation controlling evidence in Pakistan, article 9 and 12 of Qanun-e-Shahadat Order 1984 The privilege of communicating with in-house attorneys will not be extended to full-time paid employees who are unable to practice law as an advocate.

6. A witness’s own attorney conducts the first examination-in-chief. Evidence-in-chief may be given by a witness who affirms in front of the court or commissions the contents of his or her affidavit in evidence. An affidavit’s supporting papers must also be presented as evidence. Afterward, the opposing counsel is allowed to question the witness verbally. A re-examination of the witness by the witness’s own counsel is then permissible.

7. U.S. Embassy Islamabad

Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5

Islamabad, Pakistan

Telephone: +(92)(51) 201-4000 or +(92)(51) 201-5000

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(92)(51) 201-4000

Fax: +(92)(51) 282-2632

Email: ACSIslamabad@state.gov

Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Karachi

Plot 3-5 New TPX Area, Mai Kolachi Road

Karachi, Pakistan

Telephone: +(92)(21) 3527-5000

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(92)(21) 3527-5000

Fax: +(92)(21) 3561-2420

Email: ACSKarachi@state.gov

Website: https://pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/karachi/

U.S. Consulate General Lahore

50, Shahrah-e-Abdul Hameed Bin Badees,

(Old Empress Road) near Shimla Hill Circle,

Lahore, Pakistan

Telephone: +(92)(42) 3603-4000

Fax: +(92)(42) 3603-4212

Email: acslahore@state.gov

Website: https://pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/lahore/

U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar

11 Hospital Road, Peshawar Cantt.20

Telephone: +(92)(91) 526-8800

Fax: +(92)(91) 527-6712

Website: https://pk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/peshawar/

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