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Wednesday April 17, 2024

SCBA ex-president Justice (retd) Rasheed A Razvi passes away

By Jamal Khurshid
February 04, 2024

Former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and a stalwart of the historic lawyers and students movements, Justice (retd) Rasheed A Razvi, passed away at the age of 76 on Saturday.

Former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA)  Justice (retd) Rasheed A Razvi. — APP File
Former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA)  Justice (retd) Rasheed A Razvi. — APP File

Justice (retd) Razvi was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, on December 18, 1947, and his family migrated to Karachi in 1956. After completing his BA (Hons), he received his MA Economics degree in 1970 from the Karachi University, then completed his LLB in 1973.

He joined the legal profession in 1973, and has had a legal standing of more than five decades. During his student life he was very active, and remained president of his law college students union. He was also part of the students movement in 1967-1970 launched by the National Students Federation.

He remained the presiding officer of special courts (offences in banks) from November 1993 (with the status of a high court judge) until April 7, 1995, following which he was elevated as a judge of the Sindh High Court (SHC).

Justice (retd) Razvi stood retired on January 26, 2000, along with other judges of the high courts and the Supreme Court who declined to take a fresh oath under the Provisional Constitution Order, 2000, promulgated by the then military dictator General Pervaiz Musharraf. Since then he has conducted hundreds of cases in the high court and the SC.

As a judge of the high court, he has to his credit more than 300 reported cases in various fields, including but not limited to civil, criminal, labour, constitution and intellectual property laws, which is a remarkable achievement. He was conferred the status of senior advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2008 by the SC.

As a lawyer his efforts have resulted in some leading judgments of the SC, including the SCBA case, the PBC case, the Chief Justice of Pakistan case, the Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) case, the Justice Khurshid Bhinder case, the Province of Sindh vs Rasheed A Razvi case, the Baz M Kakar case, the Watan Party case, the Gen Pervez Musharraf case, the 21st Amendment case and many others.

Justice (retd) Razvi was a petitioner in the SHCBA case, in which for the first time the SC’s 14-member bench declared the emergency imposed by the then president Musharraf in 2007 as illegal and unconstitutional, and it was also held that keeping the constitution in abeyance amounts to the abrogation of the constitution.

Razvi had also been elected as the general secretary and president of the Karachi Bar Association in 1981 and 1987 respectively. He was also elected as a member of the Sindh Bar Council (SBC) for the term 1984-1989, then again for 1989-1994. During this tenure, he was twice elected the vice chairman of the SBC.

He was elected the president of the SHCBA for four terms in 2000, 2008, 2009 and 2010. He remained a member of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) from 2000 to 2020. He also remained the vice chairman and chairman of the executive committee of the PBC. He was elected as the president of the SCBA for the term 2016-2017.

Justice (retd) Razvi has had a long history of struggle for the rights of downtrodden people. He led the movement for the restoration of democracy and the independence of the judiciary at the front during the era of Gen Musharraf. He was incarcerated during the struggle for the restoration of democracy against the Gen Ziaul Haq regime. He was adopted as a prisoner of conscience in 1983-84 by the Amnesty International, UK.

Razvi had also participated in several international law conferences and human rights workshops, and was a life member of the Commonwealth Magistrates & Judges Association, UK, as well as LAWASIA, the Law Association for Asia and the Pacific.

He also remained the president of the Pakistan chapter of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in Law for more than eight years from 2009 to 2017.

For the past seven years he was the president of the board of directors of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research, one of the oldest and well-organised NGOs in the country engaged in the matters of worker/labour rights. He was a life member of the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs.

Chief Justice of the SHC Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, and SBC and SHCBA office-bearers offered their condolences over Razvi’s death, and prayed that Almighty Allah grant courage to the grieving family to bear their irreparable loss. The bar leaders appreciated the services of Razvi for the rule of law and the protection of people’s rights.

The funeral prayer of Justice (retd) Razvi will be offered at the Zohr prayer at Jama Masjid-o-Imambargah Yasrab, DHA Phase-IV, and he will be laid to rest at the DHA Phase-VIII graveyard.

Sindh Interim Information, Minority Affairs, and Social Protection Minister Muhammad Ahmed Shah expressed condolence over the death of Chairman Sindh Commission for Protection of Journalists and Other Media Practitioners Justice (retd) Rasheed A Razvi.

He said Justice (retd) Razvi dedicated his entire life to upholding the cause of rule of law and justice in the country. He recalled that Justice (retd) Razvi was also an active member of the Arts Council of Pakistan.

Shah said the death of Justice (retd) Razvi was like his personal loss. He said Razvi in his capacity as chairman of the Sindh Commission for Protection of Journalists had done his best to provide protection to media persons in the province.

The minister prayed for the departed soul.