The swearing-in ceremony of new Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan, Asif Saeed Khosa had the unusual attendance of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and former Supreme Court judge, Justice Madan B Lokur. The latter also shared a bench with the new Chief Justice and heard three cases for about 45 minutes on Friday.
According to the reports, the 26th Chief Justice of Pakistan was sworn at the Aiwan-i-Sadr in Islamabad, while President Arif Alvi administered the oath to Justice Khosa, who said, “I will do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour.”
Reportedly, along with Indian judges, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Narin Ferdi Sefik, Chief Judge of the State of Borno in Nigeria, Kashim Zannah, justice Lokur’s wife Savita, former Canada judge and founding president of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute, Sandra E Oxner and her husband were also present at the swearing-in ceremony.
Interestingly, Justice Lokur also shared a bench with the new Chief Justice and heard three cases for about 45 minutes on the occasion. The first matter was a challenge of a conviction, the second a bail hearing and the third a civil matter, which resulted in a compromise between the two parties.
Reportedly, Justice Lokur and Justice Khosa have been close friends since 2004, when Justice Khosa was in the Lahore High Court and Justice Lokur was a judge in the Delhi High Court. He further described the reception in Pakistan as “unprecedented” and appreciated the gesture of inviting him to preside with the CJI for the cases. When asked whether he considers his attendance for the ceremony an extraordinary gesture, Justice Lokur told the Indian Express that “Justice knows no boundaries”. Accompanying Justice Lokur in yesterday’s swearing-in ceremony was his wife, Savita Lokur.
Meanwhile, Justice Lokur has also attended such a swearing-in ceremony in Pakistan in the past. He was invited five years ago when former Pakistan Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani had taken charge as the Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court.
The oath-taking ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of the Air Staff Aasim Zaheer, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Supreme Court judges, senior lawyers and other government officials and ministers.
Retired Justice Madan B Lokur, along with the current Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and two other judges, were involved in an open rebellion within the judiciary and were part of the controversial press conference against the then CJI Dipak Mishra who has retired from the Supreme Court on November 30.