Governor Shah Farman administers oath to Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan as the Peshawar High Court acting chief justice. — INP
Governor Shah Farman administers oath to Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan as the Peshawar High Court acting chief justice. — INP

PESHAWAR: Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan was sworn in as the acting chief justice of the Peshawar High Court here at the Governor’s House on Monday.

Governor Shah Farman administered the oath to him.

The chief justice’s post fell vacant on Nov 12 after the incumbent, Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, died of novel coronavirus.

The country’s president had appointed Justice Qaiser, the senior puisne judge of the high court, as the acting chief justice under Article 196 of the Constitution until the appointment of a permanent chief justice on the recommendation of the Judicial Commission for Appointment of Judges.

Its notification was issued by the law and justice ministry on Nov 13.

Beside the high court judges and senior lawyers, the oath-taking ceremony was also attended by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, ministers Taimur Saleem Jhagra and Shaukat Yousafzai, special assistant to the chief minister Kamran Khan Bangash, chief secretary Dr Kazim Niaz, police chief Sanaullah Abbasi and others.

Position fell vacant on Nov 12 after death of Justice Waqar

Justice Qaiser hails from Thana area in Malakand district and was born on Mar 31, 1961.

A leading figure in the lawyers’ movement from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he was the first lawyer to be arrested after the imposition of an emergency rule by former military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, on Nov 3, 2007. He was sent to the Dera Ismail Khan Central Prison under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance.

Justice Qaiser had graduated from the historical Islamia College, Peshawar, in 1981 and got his law degree from the Khyber Law College, Peshawar, in 1984.

He had also done his master’s in political science and journalism from the University of Peshawar in 1987 and 1991, respectively. He was enrolled as an advocate of lower courts in 1984 and that of high court and the Supreme Court in 1991 and 2008, respectively.

Justice Qaiser and late Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth were made additional judges of the high court the same day, Aug 2, 2011.

Justice Qaiser was popular among lawyers, who elected him as a member of the KP Bar Council for two consecutive terms in Nov 1988 and Apr 2004. He was also elected as a member of the Pakistan Bar Council on Dec 22, 2010, with the highest votes among the elected members in the country.

Justice Qaiser also remained the additional advocate general of the province from Mar 17, 2008, to his resignation on Mar 25, 2010.

As a high court judge, he is known for taking keen interest in issues of public interest, especially healthcare, education, forestry, human rights, tourism and environment.

Justice Qaiser headed the bench, which took note of the heavy schoolbags carried by students and ordered the government to legislate on it. He had also issued orders from time to time for the removal of mobile phone base transceiver stations over threats to human health due to installation in close proximity to the population.

Justice Qaiser has regularly been heading a bench hearing dengue-related petitions and issued several directives to the government during the last couple of years for taking different steps to check the outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2020



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