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Address by Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan at Full Court Reference on the eve of retirement held at Supreme Court Building Islamabad on 27th August, 2019

August 27, 2019

Islamabad, August 27, 2019 (PPI-OT): My lord the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan;

My Brother Judges;

Attorney General for Pakistan;

President, Supreme Court Bar Association;

Members and Office bearers of the Bar;

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Assalam-o-Alaikum!

In July, 1993, an Iconic Judge of the Lahore High Court, on the day after his retirement, visited the Barroom. I met him and wished him Happy Birthday. He smiled and said that even his family had forgotten to wish him. This is a gentle reminder to my family and friends who are gathered here today to remember to wish me Happy Birthday tomorrow.

At the stroke of midnight hour, I will lay down my robes but hopefully not my zest for life.

No doubt, Institutions are peopled with individuals but no individual is bigger or more important than the Institution. No one is indispensable nor am I.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I can state without fear of contradiction that I am leaving this Court in the safe and steady hands of my learned Brother Judges, who are keenly aware of their duty to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

I assure you, no matter, what the circumstances, my Brother Judges shall do the right thing, in the right manner, at the right time without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.

I am equally confident that my Brother Judges will never lose sight of the fact that our Legal System has evolved and developed brick by brick, judgment by judgment. This legal journey will go on and will not be short circuited through short-cuts.

I am also confident that my Brother Judges are aware that divergence of opinion in respect of the understanding but not misunderstanding of the law is a blessing to be celebrated. My Brother Judges are also fully cognizant of the difference between “Judicial Individualism” and “Judicial Anarchy”.

My Brother Judges are also conscious that the Practicing Advocates are an integral and essential part of our Legal System and any effort to delete or dilute their role will disfigure the Legal System beyond recognition.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I leave this Court in the protection of the Bar whose Members are sensitive to the fact that their role, relevance and respect is a reflection of the role, relevance and respect of this Court and, therefore, will never allow the dignity of this Court and thus of the Bar to be compromised.

It is an independent Bar, which in the ultimate analysis, is the guarantor of an Independent Judiciary, therefore, I am equally confident that the Bar will continue to insulate itself from outside influences.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Every building rests on a foundation, which may not be visible. The same is also true of Institutions. The functioning of this Court would not be possible without the Staff led by the Registrar who man our Offices. More often than not their efforts go unacknowledged.

At this juncture, I cannot avoid mentioning my personal and support staff, without whose loyalty and cooperation, I would not have been able to perform my functions as a Judge. I am grateful to Muhammad Safdar Mahmood, my Senior Private Secretary, Mahtab Hussain, my Private Secretary, Muhammad Ali Shah, Court Associate, Qaiser Abbas, Research Officer and Muhammad Safdar, my Qasid and constant shadow.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

When the Programme of Law Clerks was introduced, I was very skeptical but over the years, I too have been converted. Previously, a young man from the Province of Sindh, Sarmad Soomro was my Law Clerk and rendered valuable assistance in difficult times. Today, another bright young spark Muhammad Ali is my Law Clerk. Clear headed with incisive reasoning I know that both of them will go places.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

As young men, we set out to change the world. We soon discover that this is easier said than done. We also realize that more the things change more they remain the same. Eventually, we are only left with the parable of the bird racing towards the forest fire with a few drops of water. The fire may not be put out but we all must do our bit I too tried my best but I am aware the forest fires still rages.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

It may be appropriate to conclude with a confession. I was a reluctant Judge who declined appointment to the Lahore High Court several years before I was eventually nationalized but in retrospect I have no regrets it has been a privilege and an honour to have served this Institution and my country.

Thank you.

For more information, contact:
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, G-5/2,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-9220581-600
Fax: +92-51-9213452
Email: mail@supremecourt.gov.pk
Website: http://www.supremecourt.gov.pk

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