ISLAMABAD – Historic era of the history of the judiciary of the country came to an end with the retirement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Wednesday after reaching age of 65, PakistanTribe.com reported.
He served as CJ for 8 years 5 months and 12 days. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry served in Supreme Court for about 13 years. He was elevated to Supreme Court on 4th February 2004 and was appointed as chief justice on 5th June 2005. Iftikhar Chaudhry was born on 12th December 1948 in Quetta. Iftikhar Chaudhry would celebrate 66th birthday today (Thursday).
The reference was held in Court Room No.1 where all the judges of the apex court marked their attendance to bid farewell to CJP Iftikhar. During his tenure, he took historic decisions and fought for the restoration of judiciary.
Meanwhile Chief justice-designate Justice Tassaduq Hussian jlilani would take oath as 19th Chief Justice of country today (Thursday); meanwhile President Syed Mamnoon Hussain will administer oath to the new chief justice during the ceremony at the Presidency. Justice Tassaduq Hussian Gilani belongs to Multan city of Punjab. He was elevated to Supreme Court on 31st of July 2004. Justice Jilani would serve as Chief justice till the 6th of July next year. Justice jilani had started practice from Multan in 1974.
Full Court reference was held on the day of retirement of Iftikhar Chaudhry in SC. All judges of the Supreme Court, Attorney General Munir A Malik, President Supreme Court Bar Association Kamran Murtaza, lawyers and media attended the reference.
While addressing the reference Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said law is equal for all citizens. He said prosperity in country is not possible without restoring peace. He said democracy is not possible without free and fair elections. He said the SC of today is working for the transparency and accountability.
Chief Justice said it looks that the executive of the country is helpless for ending corruption in country. He said the difference between the poor and the rich could be gulfed if corruption is stopped in country. He said that future judiciary should continue taking suo moto notice over the issues of public interest and for ensuring basic human rights should continue. He said if the executive fails to ensure protection of basic rights of the people then judiciary should play its role.
Chief Justice Iftikhar said restoration of judiciary and the role of lawyers and civil society has strengthened judiciary. He hoped the new Chief Justice will play a vital role in providing justice to the people.
Chief Justice Chaudhry thanked all judges for playing a role in the dispensation of justice. He said that after 2007, all judges, lawyers, students and political workers played their role in the struggle for an independent judiciary. The chief justice also praised the role played by the media.
“I cannot find words to praise the courage shown by my brother judges who were deposed following the actions of 03 November, 2007.”
In his farewell address, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said democracy is not possible without independent and transparent elections. He said the judiciary worked for democracy, adding the SC played its role in holding local bodies elections.
The CJP said it was not possible for anyone now to lie about their educational degrees and assets. He also thanked his family for continued support. He said ‘the family also supported me at the time of confinement.’ Justice Chaudhry hoped that the court under the leadership of Justice Jilani would continue work for the protection of basic human rights of the people of country. He said that the difference between the haves and have nots is increasing day by day and administration is failed to acknowledge this fact. Chief justice until and unless the corruption is curbed the difference between the rich and the poor will continue to increase. Chief justice said that it looks that the executive is helpless to overcome the menace of corruption from country, adding he could only hope that there would be improvement in future. Chief Justice Chaudhry also thanked his family including wife, sons and daughters for their continued support during thick and thin.
Chief justice also paid rich tribute to the services of staff of the Supreme Court, Registrar SC Dr Faqir Hussain and protocol officer Chaudhry Abdul Hameed. Chief justice also hailed the services of the other judges of the Supreme Court for their continued support for the dispensation of justice to masses.
Incoming Chief Justice Tassaduq Husain Jillani paid homage to Chief Justice Chaudhry referring to him as an “icon, a catalyst and a phenomenon who with his courage changed the course of the constitutional jurisprudence, who put an end to the painful saga of constitutional deviations, who expanded the social role of the rule of law, who created greater awareness among the people of the values of democracy and the meaning of Fundamental Rights provisions of the Constitution.”
Justice Tassaduq Jillani paid rich tributes to the outgoing chief justice and said that he has strong muscles.
He said the decisions taken by the Supreme Court during the tenure of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as chief justice will always be remembered. Justice Jillani said that the judiciary will have to reconsider its procedures. There should be rules and regulations about the court’s power to take notice of the issues for suo moto hearing, Justice Tassadduq observed.
Addressing the reference‚ Attorney General Muneer A. Malik said that the period of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as Chief Justice was a historic one.
He said the Chief Justice worked for maintaining prestige of the judiciary and rule of law.