August 27, 2019
A full-court reference was held on Tuesday at the Supreme Court in honour of Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, who has reached superannuation.
Headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, the ceremony was attended by senior judges and lawyers including the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and vice-chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC).
In his farewell speech at the reference, Justice Saeed highlighted the importance of an independent judiciary, saying “The justice system of Pakistan has been established after a lot of hard work, brick-by-brick.”
“I hope no shortcuts will come in the way of [provision of] justice,” he added.
Justice Saeed also expressed the hope that his fellow judges will remain aware of the difference between “judicial anarchy and justice”.
He said it was no less than an honour for him to serve the people by becoming a part of the judiciary. “Everyone should play their part for the provision of justice,” the judge advised.
Chief Justice Khosa in his remarks termed Justice Saeed an asset of the superior judiciary, saying it had been his honour to have worked with him.
He noted that the outgoing judge had penned several historic verdicts and untangled several uncertain matters during his time at the top court.
“Justice Saeed’s belief in the rule of law and Constitution is evident from his judgements,” Justice Khosa remarked.
Lauding Justice Saeed’s services for the judiciary, Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan noted that the judge had written important verdicts concerning military courts and the right to a fair trial.
“The judiciary is losing a capable judge today,” he said, pay respect to Justice Saeed on behalf of the federal government.
PBC vice chairman Syed Amjad Shah in his address accused the government of using tactics to suppress “dissenting voices”.
“Should institutions be allowed to exceed their authority? Are the parliament and courts functioning independently?” he asked.
He said the Supreme Court should bind every institution to stay within its constitutional limits, adding that interference in political matters damages the reputation of the judiciary.
In brief: Justice Saeed’s career
Justice Saeed was first enrolled as an advocate of the High Court of Lahore (LHC) in 1980 and was promoted to advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan the subsequent year. Justice Saeed also served as special prosecutor of the Ehtesab Bureau in 1997 and was a member of the legal team prosecuting many high profile cases at the LHC.
He served as special prosecutor National Accountability Bureau in 2001. Justice Saeed was appointed as an additional Judge of the LHC in 2004. In 2012, he was elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.