Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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A glimpse at the career of the outgoing CJP


Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, will officially retire today as the top judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP). 

Being the only CJP from Balochistan to take charge of the post, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was born on 12th December in 1948 in Quetta.

He acquired his early education from his hometown. He started practising his profession in 1974 after graduating from Sindh University Jamshoro with a degree in Law.

After becoming a lawyer at Sindh High Court in 1976 he did not look back. He becomes a SCP lawyer in 1985 and was also elected as the President of Balochistan High Court Bar in 1986. He was made the Advocate General of Balochistan Government in 1989 and an Additional Judge of  Balochistan High Court in 1990.

Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry assumed charge as a judge of the Balochistan High Cout in 1993 and was made the Chief Justice of Balochistan in 1999. He was promoted next year and became the judge of the Supreme Court.

Serving as a judge in the SCP for five years , he was given charge as the Chief Justice of Pakistan in 2005. 

In the March of 2007, former President and Army Chief of Pakistan General (Retd.) Pervez Musharraf asked the CJP to step down from his designation which he refused. He was suspended by the dictator on grounds of corruption and power seeking. It was the first time in sixty years that a Chief Justice of the country was suspended.

The law and order situation became tense following his resignation based on the assumption that if the President had the power to suspend the Chief Justice from his post. Huge support was shown by the people, judiciary and political groups that opposed Musharraf. Pervez Musharraf filed a reference against the CJP in the  Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). Five top lawyers of the country Aitzaz Ahsan, Hamid Khan, Munir A. Malik, Ali Ahmad Kurd and Tariq Mehmood fought the case for the top judge and Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was restored as the the top judge.

The former Army Chief again confronted the constitution of Pakistan and declared a state of emergency. The judges were locked up in detention and the media was shut down. He also ordered a house arrest of the CJP and his family. The emergency was followed by a lawyers movement in which protests were held by the judiciary, NGOs, political parties and members of the civil society.

After the General Elections in 2008, the former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani immediately ordered the release of the Chief Justice and his family from the house arrest and restored him as the CJP.

During his tenure as the Chief Justice, he heard many important cases such as Balochistan Missing Persons Case, NICL (National Insurance Corporation Limited) Corruption Scam, Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution Corruption case, Pakistan Steel Mills case etc.

He will retire today as the Chief Justice of Pakistan and will be succeeded by Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani.


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