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PHCBA expresses concern for not holding reference in the honour of Justice Khan.

Byline: Hasnaat Malik

ISLAMABAD -- Peshawar High Court Bar Association (PHCBA) has conveyed its resentment to Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar for not holding full court reference ceremony in the honour of Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, who has been retired on March 19. Justice Khan is belong to the province of KP.

PHCBA conveyed its concern to CJP through Chief Justice Peshawar High Court Yahya Afridi.

Later, Supreme Court registrar Arbab Arif has written letter to PHC register wherein he stated that the impression of not extending full court reference to Justice Khan is unfounded, baseless and incorrect.

The CJP and all judges to hold Justice Khan in high esteem, therefore the sentiments of CJP and judges may please brought into notice to CJ PHC and PHCBA members, says the letter.

It is also been explained that Justice Khan had sent a note the registrar that due to unavoidable family circumstances, he would not be able to sit in the bench and work in the court on March 19 and would conduct chamber work only.

Later, the CJP and two senior most judges Justice Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan sought time to see him in his chamber in order to persuade him but instead Justice Dost Muhammad Khan himself called on the CJP in his chamber and conveyed that due to unavoidable circumstances he could neither attend the reference nor dinner. In spite of persuasion by the CJP, he declined.

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Therefore, CJP in deference to his desire agreed and invited judges for tea. Later the judges presented souvenirs and shields to the apex court judges, says the letter.

It is be noted that lawyers belonging to smaller provinces are already expressing concern for not holding reference in the honour of Justice Khan. Balochistan Bar Council's member Munir Kakar and former SCBA president Yasin Azad already showed concern.

Talking to The Express Tribune Munir Kakar has already given intention to pass a resolution from Baluchistan Bar Council over alleged discriminatory attitude with smaller provinces.

The superior bars also expressed serious concern over not holding a full-court reference ceremony to mark end of the tenure of an outspoken Supreme Court judge Dost Muhammad Khan.

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Talking to The Express Tribune, SCBA General Secretary Safdar Tarar had said cancelation of all ceremonies in honour of Justice Khan, who belongs to a small province, will create serious doubts in the minds, adding this break from tradition will severally affect the image of the apex court.

Weeks back, Justice Khan while addressing the Peshawar High Court Bar Association had urged political parties to resolve their disputes in parliament instead of taking them to courts. He had said chances of martial law increase when political disputes are not resolved through political means.

In December 2017, the judge while hearing a matter related to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had said he supported the idea of bringing the judges and generals under the accountability law.

He had said across-the-board accountability would be necessary and that he personally believed that judges and generals should be held accountable like common citizens and there should be transparency in the process. 'A new law should be framed after consulting all stakeholders,' he had remarked.

Being the PHC chief justice, he passed several directions to trace the missing persons. Due to his efforts, whereabouts of around 2,500 missing persons were found out and 900 of them were shifted to different internment centres in 2013.

Justice Khan was also part of the bench that disqualified former senator Nihal Hashmi and jailed him for one month. However, Justice Khan abstained and did not endorse the judgment against Hashmi.
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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Mar 21, 2018
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