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March 17, 2018

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Justice Dost declines to attend full court reference

ISLAMABAD: An unusual situation has arisen for the first time in the judicial history of Pakistan as Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, a judge of the Supreme Court, has declined to attend the reception of the Supreme Court as well as of bar associations on the eve of his retirement.

Hailing from Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, who is going to attain the age of superannuation on March 19, declined to accept the reception from the Chief Justice of Pakistan as well as from fellow judges on the eve of his retirement.

According to the Supreme Court Bar Association office secretary, the Registrar's Office of the Supreme Court intimated that Justice Dost Muhammad Khan would retire on March 19, 2018.

It was, however, intimated by the Registrar's Office that Justice Muhammad Khan said that due to his personal family engagements, he could not attend any reception either from the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) or the Pakistan Bar Council on the eve of his retirement.

As per precedents of the country’s highest court, a full court reference is organised on the eve of retirement of a judge wherein apart from all the 17 judges of the court, the Attorney General for Pakistan as well as representatives of bar associations also attend the reference to pay homage to the retiring judge.

The same day a reception is hosted by the Chief Justice of Pakistan in the honor of outgoing judge which is attended by all the judges of the apex court as well as the legal fraternity, including office bearers of bar associations.

Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, however, through the Registrar's Office, intimated to the Supreme Court Bar Association as well as Pakistan Bar Council, not to attend their receptions on the eve of his retirement, declining with thanks.

No reasons were mentioned by the Registrar's Office as to why Justice Dost Muhammad Khan declined to attend the reception but simply mentioned some personal family engagements, said the official secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

Meanwhile, well-placed sources told The News that Justice Dost Muhammad Khan also declined to attend the Full Court Reference in his honour as well as addressing on the occasion.

As only three days are left in the retirement of Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, there was no official announcement made for the full court reference till the filing of this report. Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, who is considered an authority on criminal law, was appointed as Chief Justice Peshawar High Court on November 17, 2011 and elevated to the Supreme Court on January 31, 2014 as a judge of the apex court.

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