Islamabad: The outgoing Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khan Khosa is retiring on December 20, 2019 after serving for a little over 11 months.
He will be succeeded by Justice Gulzar Ahmed who is the most senior judge of the apex court after him.
During his career as judge of the higher judiciary since 1998, Justice Khosa passed many landmark judgements and noted important judicial observations yet the cases that gave him international fame include disqualification of two sitting prime ministers — Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani and Mian Nawaz Sharif — and most recently extension case of army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in which he restricted the extension period from three years to merely six months.
With rich literary taste and background, Justice Khosa has made various literary quotations and poems part of his judgements.
He had quoted Khalil Jibran’s poem “Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion …” in his six-page extraordinary note to the judgement disqualifying former PM Yousaf Raza Gilani in a Contempt of Court case by a seven-member Supreme Court bench.
Later, in 2017 while heading a larger bench of the apex court hearing Panama Case against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Justice Khosa once again used terms like ‘godfather’ and ‘Sicilian Mafia’ for Sharif Family during the course of hearing that was highlighted by both national and international media.
However, in 2018 after assuming office of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Khosa made it clear he never used those words against former PM.
Justice Khosa remained active member of Lawyers Movement for Independence of Judiciary in former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf’s days.
He was a judge of the Lahore High Court when Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in November 2007 and suspended the constitution.
Judges of the superior judiciary at that time were asked to take new oath of office under Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) but Justice Khosa like then Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and many other senior judges, refused to retake oath.
He was suspended and a countrywide movement was launched for restoration of judges. On August 18, 2008 he along with many of his colleagues was restored to his prior position as High Court judge
On Saturday Justice Khosa addressed Dera Ghazi Khan District Bar where he started his career as lawyer in 1970s. He refreshed many fond memories of those days when he was active member of the bar and participated in various activities. He said those were great times of rich traditions, when he spent time with senior lawyers and learnt a lot from them.
Earlier in Multan while speaking on ‘Dispensation of Justice: Changing Frontiers’ at the Lahore High Court Multan Bench, Khosa urged young lawyers not only to preserve the past rich traditions of legal fraternity but also pass it on to the next generation, as not keeping up with past traditions is the major cause of decline in lawyers’ profession.
He said lawyers should be committed to their profession to keep intact the relationship between a client and a lawyer.