ISLAMABAD                -        Chief Justice of Pakistan-designate Justice Gulzar Ahmad Friday said that the corruption and illegalities are needed to be seriously addressed and eradicated in all the departments of the State.

Justice Gulzar expressed these views while addressing a reference held in honour of outgoing Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa on the eve of his retirement after attaining the age of superannuation at the Supreme Court.

Incoming Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad, Additional Attorney General (AAG) General Amir Rehman, who represented AGP Anwar Mansoor Khan, Pakistan Bar Council Syed Amjad Shah and President Supreme Court Bar Association Qalb-e-Hassan paid tribute to Justice Khosa for his meritorious service as a judge of High Court, Supreme Court and then as Chief Justice of Pakistan.

In his address, Justice Gulzar said, “Corruption and illegalities, in all the departments of the State, need to be seriously addressed and eliminated, and the persons involved in such activities, are dealt with deterrence for this is the most basic and fundamental scrooge that does not allow the country to grow and prosper.”

He added that the most essential need of the time is that the State should build and provide for civic infrastructure so also the civil infrastructure, and such should be done and achieved, keeping in line the time and pace of the ever-progressing world.

He continued that humanistic approach needs and has to be adopted, at all levels, not only by the State, in performance of its functions, but such humanistic approach also needs to be inculcated at all levels of the society for the healthy growth of the nation. All State functionaries are required to focus on humanistic approach counts and ensure deliverance to the people.

Justice Gulzar said that the Constitution of Pakistan is a living document, based upon trichotomy of powers between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, and the system of checks and balances is well entrenched in our polity.

“The preamble to the Constitution, the fundamental rights and the principles of policy, as enshrined in the Constitution, are for the benefit and protection of the people of Pakistan, in all affairs of their life and vocations, and the State is required, not only to ensure such protection to its people, but also to ensure that the people of Pakistan are given their share in the social and economic wellbeing, and avenues for it are constantly created, so as to make their lives more better day by day,” maintained Justice Gulzar.

JUSTICE KHOSA’S SPEECH

Justice Khosa in his farewell speech said; “I believe that a judge, besides being just and fair to all, should have a heart of a lion, nerves of steel, wisdom of a sage, expression of a man of letters and approach full of empathy and compassion. These were the ideals that I strived to follow but I do not know how successfully. I can, however, confidently say, and Allah Almighty be my witness for it, that I always tried to be true to the oath of my office.”

He said all-out effort was made to put our own house in order with an approach focusing mainly on improving the justice delivery system. Then, he mentioned the initiatives taken during his tenure and said the principle of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus was reintroduced in our legal system because in the absence of truthful testimonies justice may only be illusory.

He also said the rampant practice of seeking and granting adjournments was effectively discouraged so as to minimise delays in disposition of cases.

Justice Khosa said “Video-linkage was established between the Principal Seat of this Court at Islamabad and its Branch Registries at Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi and Lahore facilitating lawyers to argue their cases from their own stations rather than travelling to and staying at Islamabad for that purpose. Huge expenditure which the litigant public had to incur in this regard previously is now substantially curtailed. This step also makes it possible for the lawyers to attend to their other cases fixed at their local stations on the same day. The elderly lawyers whose mobility has become restricted on account of age are availing this facility with great satisfaction.

He continued that a state-of-the-art research centre has been established in this court which has access to the world renowned search engines in the legal field. As many as ten serving civil judges, trained in the United States of America, are now available at that centre to assist the honourable judges with research on every conceivable aspect of law worldwide.

Then he said website of this court has been revamped and upgraded facilitating the lawyers and litigants in getting information about all judicial and administrative services being provided by the court. A mobile telephone application has been launched through which any person can access and receive information about any case pending before the court besides being able to read and download any interim or final order passed by the court in any case.

AGP’S SPEECH

AAG Amir Rehman read Anwar Mansoor’s speech which stated; “Justice Asif Saeed Khosa spoke to the media late in the night, despite the fact that the Supreme Court is the appellate court in relation to the judgment of the Special Court, and supported the short order/judgment passed by the Special Court, especially when the detailed judgment had not been issued.”

According to AGP speech, Justice Khosa in Mst Nazia Anwar vs State case categorically clarified and laid emphasis that when a doubt lurked in the mind of judges there was no other course other than to acquit the accused. “However, this principle was ignored in General (retd) Musharraf case judgment and the Special Court verdict seemed to have been rendered with animus and vengeance as is evident from the opinion of Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth. The mode of execution of sentence ordered by Justice Waqar is inhumane, barbaric, ludicrous, against fundamental rights and all norms of criminal justice system. Such a conduct is unbecoming of a judge of superior court,” he added.

He stated that in extension of additional judges and adhoc judges the apex court declared “The decision of the Parliamentary Committee whereby the names of six judges were not confirmed for extension in their tenure, is not in accordance with the provision of the Constitution and consequently a direction for the extension in the tenure of additional judges was issued. However, while deciding the case of COAS the matters involving rights and duties of high constitutional office that require thorough deliberation, detailed scrutiny of the law and the law and the constitution and are to be dealt with utmost patience and without undue haste, escaped the attentions of the apex court. In COAS extension case it seemed that the line of demarcation between the executive, parliament and the judiciary has been blurred.”

PBC Chairman in his address appreciated the Special Court judgment in high treason case, saying the judgment has upheld supremacy of the Constitution and law and would discourage anyone in future to impose martial law in the country.

He paid tribute to Justice Waqar Ahmed for delivering the bold judgment. He regretted the government’s reaction over the judgment and said it amounts to contempt of court.

He added that the government and Pervez Musharraf should refrain from criticising the Special Court as they have remedy to file appeal against the judgment.