Speech of Honourable Mr. Justice Javed Iqbal on Full Court Reference
Islamabad: 1. I am highly honoured and grateful to all of you for being here to bid me farewell and for the kind and generous words of appreciation. I really don’t know upto what extent I deserve for such esteemed views. It is hard to believe that this day has finally arrived which cannot be avoided. Retiring from a service particularly the one where you remained for more than 40 years including about 30 years of judicial service cannot be described accurately. I must admit that this Institution is like my family and though I will see many of you (Insha Allah) yet I feel that I am departing away from my home for all the times to come. It is wonderful to look forward to a future of more leisure and getting around many of things that I always wished to do some day, but today I feel that the best time of my life has gone and I will have to live alongwith the sweet and everlasting memories which will be my precious asset of life.
2. I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Honourable Chief Justice for meting out to me very kind and courteous treatment throughout my life as we know each other for the last 50 years. The Honourable Chief Justice has always been a source of inspiration for me and I have learnt a lot from his well reasoned judgments, wisdom and dynamic leadership. I am also thankful to my brother Judges who have been always very friendly and co-operative. I have learnt a lot from their experience. I am also thankful to the Members of the Bar who always assisted me with their profound and eminent knowledge of law enabling me to arrive at the right conclusion. The Supreme Court of Pakistan plays a crucial role in the dispensation of justice and upholding the Rule of Law. I have no hesitation in my mind that independent judiciary is a known trait of any democratic system. The three organs of the State i.e. the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary have given a definite mandate and role to be played in their respective sphere, hence the question of any possibility of confrontation does not arise as the main object of the three pillars is the prosperity and welfare of the people of Pakistan by keeping the judicial and democratic norms alive.
3. The qualities of a good Judge include patience, wisdom, courage and honesty. The Judges are expected to assert their role in order to protect the rights of individuals against arbitrariness, misuse of powers and abuse of authority. Patience, courtesy and alertness of a Judge repose confidence in the lawyers’ community and the litigants who being important stakeholders cannot be ignored.
4. This is closing day of my about 18 years service on the Bench, 7 years spent in the High Court and 11 years in the Supreme Court of Pakistan as a Judge of this Court. I have always endeavoured to administer justice in accordance with the settled norms of justice, fairness, impartial and a transparent manner. I have performed my duties in accordance with law, Constitution and with an object to protect the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The prosperity, strength and solidarity of Pakistan revolves around Constitution and Rule of law and now by the grace of God, a few historic judgments have been delivered by the Supreme Court and no one could think to abrogate or suspend the Constitution of Pakistan which is a sacred document. It is my sincere desire that there should be no confrontation between Judiciary and Executive. If there is any such remote possibility that could be eliminated if all the Institutions perform their functions as per the mandate given by the Constitution, interpretation whereof squarely falls within the jurisdictional domain of Supreme Court and this reality is to be accepted which would be in the interest of democratic system and a source of strength. The supremacy of Parliament hardly needs any elaboration.
5. I am thankful to Almighty Allah that there is absolutely no burden on my heart and my conscious is satisfied. There are absolutely no regrets to offer. I have done my best to perform my judicial functions without fear and favour and in a transparent manner. I have always afforded proper opportunity of hearing to all Members of the Bar as well as the litigants during adjudication to the best of my knowledge and ability. There may be certain lapses being human being and today I offer my sincere apology to all of you for any wrong committed by me but it was not intentional. I am honoured to have the confidence and support of the Bench, Bar and the litigant public. For this, I am thankful to Almighty Allah. Departures are the part of life and no human being is eternal, eternity is solely for the Almighty Allah who is the Creator.
6. At this juncture I must appreciate the dedication and hard work of Dr. Faqir Hussain, worthy Registrar of this Court and all the other Branches as their co-operation remained an essential factor for dispensation of justice. I am thankful to my personal staff including Mr. Iqbal Naseer, Private Secretary, Mr. Sarfraz Ahmed, Personal Assistant, Ms. Syeda Saima Shabbir, Research and Reference Officer and Mr. Muhammad Aslam, Assistant Librarian for their co-operation, sincerity and hard work, they have always assisted me properly and I am thankful to them.
7. In the end, I pray to Almighty Allah to shower his blessings upon this Institution and to give courage to all those associated with the profession to work with commitment and dedication. I also pray for the solidarity and prosperity of Pakistan. This country has given us everything and in return we could not do much. It is high time that we must change our behaviour and the National interest should be given priority to any other interest including personal one.
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Supreme Court of Pakistan
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