Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa is known for wrapping up cases in record time. In fact, he has made it his goal for his tenure to make the judicial process in Pakistan faster.
He was sworn in on Friday.
Born on December 21, 1954 in Dera Ghazi Khan, Justice Khosa is an expert on criminal law. In four years, he has disposed of 12,000 cases which were being heard in the Supreme Court since 1994. Many wrongly accused male and female prisoners have been released as well.
Justice Khosa was sworn in as a Supreme Court judge in February 2010. His tenure will end on December 20, 2019.
He has authored three books, Heeding the Constitution, Constitutional Apologues and Judging with Passion. He had edited and compiled The Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 and is currently working on a fourth book, Breaking New Ground. Justice Khosa is also a member of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute, representing Pakistan.
He gave rulings on sensitive cases such as the Mumtaz Qadri case, the Aasia Bibi case and the Benazir Bhutto murder case among others.
During the full court reference for former chief justice Saqib Nisar, Justice Khosa said, “Mian Sahib had once observed publically that he is left with only two ambitions in life, ie to build dams and to retire the national debt. I would also like to build some dams, a dam against undue and unnecessary delays in judicial determination of cases, a dam against frivolous litigation and a dam against fake witnesses and false testimonies and would also try to retire a debt, the debt of pending cases which must be decided at the earliest possible.”
He said there are about 1.9 million cases pending in the country before all the courts put together and only about 3,000 judges and magistrates to handle them. He suggested structural and systemic changes to minimise litigation, eliminate unnecessary delays and rationalize the workload in his speech. “The time has also come when the judicial system as a whole needs to be redesigned or restructured and made simple and effective,” he said.
“With Baloch blood running in my veins I shall fight till the end and I am confident that with the support and cooperation of my colleagues and the bar the struggle shall bear fruit,” he said.
Godfather reference in Panama verdict
Justice Khosa was the one whose 194-page dissenting note in the Supreme Court’s April 20 verdict on the Panama Leaks case started with a reference to Mario Puzo’s popular 1969 novel The Godfather.
Who would have thought the judgment, which was claimed by some as a landmark one, would open with a quote from The Godfather? This was the famous quote from the novel stated right at the beginning of the judgment – “Behind every great fortune there is a crime” – Balzac