Pak's CJ says 'malicious campaign' launched against him

Pak's CJ says 'malicious campaign' launched against him

Pakistan's outgoing Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa on Friday said he was retiring with a crystal clear conscience but noted that a "malicious campaign" has been launched against him and the judiciary following the death sentence handed out to Pervez Musharraf in the treason case against the ex-military ruler.

Khosa, 64, who would retire at midnight on Friday, said the judiciary and he were being singled out in the criticism.

A three-member special court bench sentenced 76-year-old Musharraf to death in absentia on Tuesday for high treason following a six-year legal case.

He was given death sentence for abrogating the Constitution in 2007, angering the powerful military and the Imran Khan government.

Law minister Farogh Naseem said on Thursday that the judge who wrote the judgment was mentally unfit and should be stopped from performing his duties.

UK-educated Khosa said: "A malicious campaign has been started against the judiciary and myself. The allegations are baseless and incorrect. We know the limits of our powers and we know that the truth shall always prevail".

Addressing a court gathering in his honour, the outgoing Chief Justice said that he tried to give "100 per cent to the job, tried to perform beyond the call of duty, never raised my voice, spoke mainly through my pen, never delayed a judgment unduly and after giving the best years of my life to this public service, I lay down my robes today with a conscience which is clear as crystal".

Khosa, who took over as the Chief Justice of Pakistan in January, served in the judiciary for 22 years. He would be succeeded by Justice Gulzar Ahmed who would take oath tomorrow as the 27th Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Known for his erudition, Khosa was termed as "poetic judge" by deputy attorney general Amir Rehman in his address while Justice Gulzar Ahamd called him as a judge "par excellence".

As the Chief Justice, he introduced e-courts, online Supreme Court database, revamped the court website, launch of a mobile application and introduced model courts to deliver swift justice.

He decided many key cases and was part of the panel that disqualified Nawaz Sharif, a three-time prime minister, for corruption in 2017.

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