JUSTICE Waqar Ahmed Seth
JUSTICE Waqar Ahmed Seth

PESHAWAR: In what appears to be the case of the most high-profile personality falling victim to the novel coronavirus in Pakistan, Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth passed away at a private hospital in Islamabad on Thursday due to Covid-19. He was 59.

His funeral prayers will be offered on Friday (today) at 2.30pm at Peshawar’s Captain Sher Khan Shaheed Stadium, whereas fateha khwani will be held at his official residence at Race Course Garden Road.

Chief Justice Seth was born in Dera Ismail Khan on March 16, 1961. He did his LLB from Khyber Law College, Peshawar, in 1985 and subsequently his Masters in Political Science from University of Peshawar in 1986.

After practicing law for several years, he was elevated to the bench on Aug 2, 2011, and appointed chief justice on Jun 28, 2018.

PM, CJP Gulzar offer condolences

Justice Seth was known for several of his important judgements, especially the conviction of former military ruler reti­red Gen Pervez Musharraf for high treason.

Even prior to that judgement, he had to his credit several important verdicts, which developed his reputation as a judge deciding cases without any fear or favour.

One of his important judgements was acquittal of 75 convicts of military courts, most of whom were awarded death sentences, on Oct 18, 2018, and subsequent acquittal of another 200 convicts of military courts in 2019.

Another prominent judgement was delivered by a bench headed by Justice Seth which declared Action (in Aid of Civil Power) Ordinance, 2019 and identical regulations of 2011 unconstitutional and ordered the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to declare all internment centres sub-jails.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and other judges of the Supreme Court expressed sorrow over Justice Seth’s death and extended their heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. They prayed to Almighty Allah to shower His blessings upon the departed soul and give patience to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss with equanimity.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa also expressed grief over the demise of the PHC chief justice.

In a tweet, PM Khan said: “Saddened to learn of the passing of Chief Justice Peshawar High Court Waqar Ahmed Seth. May his soul rest in peace - Ameen. My condolences & prayers go to his family.”

The ISPR tweeted: “General Qamar Javed Bajwa, #COAS expresses grief on passing away of Chief Justice Peshawar High Court, Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth. May Allah bless his soul & give strength to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss, Ameen.”

Pakistan Bar Council vice chairman Abid Saqi announced a day of mourning to be observed on Friday (today) throughout the country over the death of Justice Seth.

In a joint statement, the PBC vice chairman, PBC Executive Committee chairman Azam Nazeer Tarar and Supreme Court Bar Association president Latif Afridi described Justice Seth as a national hero and said the country had lost a brave, courageous and honest judge who always demonstrated impartiality in his approach only to fulfil the cherished goal of upholding the Constitution and the law.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2020

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