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Justice Khosa takes oath as CJP : High hopes amidst the fear of judicial activism


News Analysis |

Justice Asif Saeed Khoosa has taken the oath as 26th chief justice of Pakistan under the administration of President Arif Alvi in a ceremony held at Aiwan-i-Sadr Islamabad today as Mr. Saqib Nisar retired yesterday after completing his tenure as CJP.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of the Air Staff Aasim Zaheer, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid, and Sindh Governor Imran Ismail are attending the ceremony that is underway.

Justice Khosa is a renowned jurist on criminal law across the world. He has authored many articles and books. Interestingly, he has given a verdict of 10,000 cases since 2o14.

Analysts believe that the court under Justice Nisar remained more populist and largely unfocused. The former CJP was concerned about Dams, Prisons, and hospitals and did not pay much of his attention on judicial reforms or pending cases. Justice Khosa, known for his remarkable verdicts, outlined his model of running the court while delivering a speech at full court reference in honor of the retiring CJP Nisar.

Justice Khosa acknowledged the service rendered by Justice Nisar for dispensing justice, and also expressed his feelings while saying good-bye to his two decades old colleague-cum-friend.

Interestingly, Justice expressed his ambitions as the CJP in rather a unique style. “Mian Sahib [Saqib Nisar] had once observed publically that he is left with only two ambitions in life, i.e. to build dams and to retire the national debt. I would also like to build some dams; a dam against undue and unnecessary delays in judicial determination of cases, a dam against frivolous litigation and a dam against fake witnesses and false testimonies and would also try to retire a debt, the debt of pending cases which must be decided at the earliest possible,” he said.

Read more: Justice Khosa, a renowned Pakistani Jurist, to become new CJP

Justice Khosa also said that he will take Suo Motu notices ‘very sparingly’ on the matters related to public interests and of national importance. It is worth mentioning here that lawyers often complained over the excessive use of 183 (3) by the former CJP that caused a delay in other decisions.

Justice Khosa: An Efficient Judge

Justice Khosa is a renowned jurist on criminal law across the world. He has authored many articles and books. Interestingly, he has given a verdict of 10,000 cases since 2o14. The total number of pending cases in the top court has reached near 40,000 and a few hundreds of criminal cases are left, which is being considered as a landmark achievement of the apex court, especially of the senior most judge, Justice Khosa.

Experts and common people expect that the CJP will reform the justice system of Pakistan. Senator Murtaza Wahab of PPP tweeted and hoped that the new CJP will reform the criminal justice system of Pakistan.

According to Justice Khosa’s profile available on the SC website, he has decided the fate of about 55,000 cases over a period of more than 19 years so far.

Renowned lawyer Faisal Siddiqui said that an overview of Pakistan’s judicial history shows that no judge has achieved such disposal on the criminal side as he [Khosa], especially since the 1990s when the pendency of criminal cases really started multiplying. “So it’s a great achievement which will take him into the annals of judicial history.

Apart from this, he has achieved two other things — he is one of those judges who have rewritten the criminal jurisprudence in Pakistan, in addition to laying down new jurisprudence on Mumtaz Qadri and former PM Nawaz Sharif cases, which not only required quick disposal but also a lot of courage,” says Siddiqui.

Read more: Who is Justice Asif Saeed Khoosa?

Justice Khosa also earned respect when he courageously penned a judgment in Panama Papers case against the former Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif. Justice Khosa was heading the bench when he wrote a hard-hitting judgment and convicted Mr. Sharif by disqualifying him for not being honest and truthful.

Similarly, in Mumtaz Qadri’s,( murderer of governor Punjab Mr. Salman Taseer,) and Asia Bibi’s, (a Christian woman accused of committing blasphemy and acquitted by the SC,) cases, the judgments of Mr. Khosa got the attention of local as well as international media.

Experts and common people expect that the CJP will reform the justice system of Pakistan. Senator Murtaza Wahab of PPP tweeted and hoped that the new CJP will reform the criminal justice system of Pakistan.

Read more: Why the new CJ should focus on judicial reforms

“If there was ever a time for reforming the criminal justice system, it starts from tomorrow with the oath of Justice Asif Saeed Khosa as Chief Justice of Pakistan. I hope & pray that the next 11 months will change the course of Pakistan’s judicial system. All the best Khosa Sb”