Justice Asif Saeed Khosa: Career Profile of the most distinguished Judge in the history of Pakistan

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Justice Asif Saeed Khosa: Career Profile of the most distinguished Judge in the history of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD - Justice Asif Saeed Khosa has been appointed as the new Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Born on December 21, 1954, in Dera Ghazi Khan, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa passed his matriculation exam in 1969 from the Multan Board. In 1973 he appeared for the B.A exams from Government College Lahore at Punjab University and secured the first position. He did his Master’s in English language and literature from the University of the Punjab in 1975.

Justice Khosa then attended the University of Cambridge’s Queens’ College, obtaining a Master’s degree in law with a specialisation in Public International Law. Later he was called to the bar on July 26, 1979, at the Honorable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, London.

Barrister Khosa was then appointed as a judge at the Lahore High Court in May 1998. When on November 3, 2007, former president General (retd.) Musharraf declaring a state of emergency suspended the constitution and demanded the judges of the superior judiciary to retake oaths under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), Justice Khosa refused to abide by the presidential order.

Resultantly, he was sacked from the office among other judges of high courts and the SC.

On August 18, 2008, Justice Khosa was restored to his prior position as a High Court judge in the wake of an unprecedented mass movement to restore the superior judges sacked for not retaking their oaths under the PCO.

The movement, initially launched by lawyers later attracted political workers and civil society activists.

He was in the seven-member larger bench of the Supreme Court which heard the contempt of court proceedings against the former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.

In May 2012, the Supreme Court ruled against Gillani, disqualifying him from holding the office of the Prime Minister.

Justice Khosa wrote a separate six-page note in which he, quoting famed Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran, wrote about the “Pity of the Nation”. The note became subject of media coverage all over the country.

Justice Khosa also headed the larger bench of the SC that heard the Panama Papers case against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.

Remarking on article 62 and 63 of the constitution during the case hearing he wrote:

“This case is the first of its kind. We know the gravity of a declaration by the court and its effects for both the parties saying that someone was not honest. But we have to lay down parameters, otherwise, except for the Jamat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq, no one will survive.

Justice Khosa also added passed several remarks that attracted the public attention while hearing a case against Asia Bibi, a Christian woman alleged of blaspheming against the Holy Prophet (PBUH). A three-member bench of the SC unanimously acquited Bibi on October 31, 2018.