ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar and other Judges of Supreme Court of Pakistan bade farewell to Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, on his retirement.

According to a press statement issued from the office of top court’s spokesperson, a simple and dignified ceremony was held in honour of Justice Dost Muhammad Khan at the Supreme Court building.

The judges lauded the professional and legal acumen of the Judge and praised his devotion and dedication for the cause of justice.

They also paid deepest regards to Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and prayed for his healthy, prosperous and productive life after his retirement. They also presented souvenir and shields to the Judge as a token of respect and gesture of goodwill. 

However, it is unprecedented that a full-court reference ceremony was not held to mark the end of a candid and outspoken judge of Supreme Court.

It is a ‘legal-ritual’ of Supreme Court that a full-court reference ceremony in honour of outgoing judge is held wherein the chief justice of Pakistan, the retiring judge, the attorney general for Pakistan, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) Vice-Chairman, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president address the ceremony.

It is believed that Justice Khan himself was unwilling to attend the reference as well as dinner as SCBA received a letter in which Justice Khan had said he could not attend the bar’s dinner due to his family engagements.

Justice (r) Khan had immaculate career stretching over more than 4 decade of legal and judicial service in the constitutional courts of the country. The outspoken judge had always been in favour of accountability of judges and generals like common citizens. Likewise, Justice (r) Dost Muhammad Khan had always discouraged the settlement of political disputes in court of law.

Advocate of Islamabad High Court Inamul Raheem in a letter to PBC Vice-Chairman Kamran Murtaza demanded to convene a general body meeting to hold a reference in honour of Dost Muhammad Khan for his meritorious contributions for the independence of judiciary and enforcement of fundamental rights.

He stated that before laying robes, Justice (r) Khan was asked to submit the script of his farewell speech which he was to make in the traditional reference in his honour.

“This ridiculous demand of showing the script of the speech before hand from an honourable Justice of Supreme Court might have offended the honourable Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and that forced him to decline his sole privilege of receiving the farewell reference in his honour,” the advocate stated in his letter.

“This sad incident leaves so many doubts and raises so many questions regarding the independence and impartiality of the Judiciary. Such incidents at the highest judicial forum strengthen the perception of dictation to Judiciary,” the letter stated.

“Dost Muhammad Khan is known for independent judiciary and unique privilege of protecting the fundamental rights of the ordinary citizens, including release of thousands of missing persons from their illegal detention,” the letter added.

He further requested the lawyers’ apex body to resolve in this regard so that such recurrence may not take place in future.