Former judge Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim passes away in Karachi at 91

Published January 7, 2020
Former chief election commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim. — File photo
Former chief election commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim. — File photo

Former chief election commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim passed away in Karachi on Tuesday, his family confirmed. He was 91.

The former judge was under treatment at home when he passed away. His funeral prayers will be offered in the evening today and he will be laid to rest at the Mewa Shah graveyard.

Ebrahim, who served as the CEC during the 2013 general elections, was an eminent Pakistani jurist, constitutional expert, senior advocate Supreme Court, former federal law minister, former attorney general of Pakistan, former judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and former governor of Sindh.

Profile: Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim – an eminent jurist

He was born on February 21, 1928, in Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat. Ebrahim attended the Gujrat Vidyapith and received an undergraduate degree in law in 1949. He also studied courses based on philosophy.

In the year 1950, Ebrahim migrated to Pakistan and attended Sindh Muslim Law College. He received LLM degree and an honorary Juris Doctor in 1960 and later established his own law firm by the name of Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim & Company.

Ebrahim also served as the Attorney General of Pakistan during Benazhir Bhutto’s regime and later as the Governor of Sindh. In the March of 1981, he was amongst the very few judges who refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) drafted by General Zia-ul-Haq, along with Justice S. Anwarul Haq, Justice Maulvi Mushtaq Hussain and Justice Dorab Patel. The PCO not only negated the independence of the judiciary but also prolonged martial law by nullifying the effect of a judgment giving Gen Zia's regime limited recognition.

The establishment of the Citizen Police Liaison Committee in 1989 remains one of Ebrahim’s prolific achievements.

In 1996, Ebrahim served as law minister in the caretaker cabinet of President Farooq Leghari, following the dismissal of the government of prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Condolences pour in

Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his "deep sorrow and grief" over Ebrahim's death.

In a condolence message, the prime minister said the invaluable services rendered by the late judge in the field of law and the provision of justice would be remembered for a long time.

He prayed for the eternal peace of the deceased and for the fortitude of the bereaved family.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and other judges of the Supreme Court also expressed sorrow and grief over Ebrahim's demise, a statement issued by the apex court said.

The judges "have extended their heartfelt condolences and sincere sympathies to members of the bereaved family of the departed soul", the statement added.

President Arif Alvi condoled Ebrahim's death in a tweet, remembering him as a "very enlightened, honest decent person".

"May his soul rest in peace, and may his family have the strength to bear this loss. A great man is gone."

Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also expressed grief over the demise of Ebrahim, the military's media wing said in a tweet.

“May Allah bless the departed soul and gives strength to the bereaved family,” the army chief was quoted as saying.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also condoled the death of the former judge, who was one of the founder members of the HRCP.

"He was an upright jurist, committed democrat, public intellectual and former Chief Election Commissioner. His is an irreparable loss. We share the grief of his family and friends," the commission said in a tweet.

Journalist Mazhar Abbas termed Ebrahim's death a "huge loss". "He did not [take] oath under Zia's PCO, did not dissolve Sindh Assembly in 1990 and resigned, formed CPLC as governor, quit as AG during PPP 2nd government, quit after holding 2013 polls as CEC. Death of an honest man," he wrote on Twitter.

PPP MNA Nafisa Shah tweeted that former justice Ebrahim "will be remembered for his many services for law and justice in the country".

Former Dawn editor Abbas Nasir remembered Ebrahim as "an unflinching Constitutionalist, a bold upholder of the rule of law and a great friend".

An earlier version of this story erroneously reported that Ebrahim served as the Attorney General of Pakistan during Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's regime. The error is regretted.


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