A full court reference was held to bid farewell to Peshawar High Court Justice Abdul Latif Khan and pay homage to the services he rendered during his stay on the bench on Friday.
The departing judge will hang up his robes on Saturday (today) after serving for two years and one month at the PHC. Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel chaired the reference which was attended by all justices of the high court.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Advocate General Abdul Latif Yousafzai, officials from his and the deputy attorney general’s office, members of PHC Bar Association and judges of lower courts attended the proceedings.
Talking on the occasion, Latif Khan thanked his colleagues for the gesture and said he tried his best to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution. The departing judge was born on April 26, 1953 in Mansehra. He attended the University of Karachi for his LLB and practiced law at lower courts circa 1982 and the high court in 1984. He obtained his Supreme Court licence in 2001. He was elevated to the bench on March 26, 2013 and confirmed as a permanent high court judge on March 13, 2014. He also remained a member of the K-P Bar Council and the judicial commission.
Only last month, Latif Khan headed a bench constituted to hear pending appeals against convictions decided by anti-terrorism courts. During the proceedings, sentences were both suspended and upheld.
In a significant decision, Latif Khan declared that suspension from duty does not constitute for a punishment.
A BPS-17 sub-divisional forest officer was suspended on charges of illegal activities on September 11, 2014. He had approached the court with a petition against the decision.
“Suspension is not a punishment and suspension of a government servant during the course of service simply means that no work is to be taken from him during the period of suspension,” the order issued by Justice Khan reads. The judgment added that suspension is only a temporary measure wherein the petitioner is entitled to receive his full emolument in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment in the case Government of NWFP [now K-P] vs IA Sherwani (PLD 1994 SC 72). Latif Khan’s directive added the petitioner also reserves the right of appeal before the relevant authority, which the petitioner did not pursue. “The constitutional jurisdiction of the high court, in such like matters, is ousted by explicit provision of Article 212 of the Constitution,” the order said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2015.
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