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Speech of Chief Justice of Pakistan on demise of Justice Abdul Shakurul Salam, former judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan

Islamabad, April 02, 2013 (PPI-OT):

My brother Judges;
The Attorney General for Pakistan;
The Vice Chairman, Pakistan Bar Council;
The President, Supreme Court Bar Association;
The Law Officers;
The Presidents, High Court and District Bar Associations;

Members of the Bar;
Ladies and gentlemen:
Assalam-o-Alaikum!

We have assembled today to pay tributes to Justice Abdul Shakurul Salam, former Judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan for 2 the services rendered by him as a member of the legal profession and more particularly as a Judge of the apex Court of the country.

He breathed his last on 28th February, 2013. All human beings are mortals. Death is inevitable and none escapes from it. Every living creature has to suffer it at its destined moment. Allah Almighty did not make an exception on this count in favour of anyone, even His Chosen ones – His Messengers and Prophets (May Allah shower His blessings and mercies upon all of them). They, too, were not immune from it. Allah says in Surah Ar-Raĥmān : Verse 26 – All that is on earth will perish. According to Surah Al-Imran : Verse 185, “Every soul shall taste death. You shall receive your rewards only on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is spared Hell and is admitted to Paradise shall surely gain (his end); for the life of this world is nothing but a fleeing vanity.”

The beginning and end of life are known to Allah alone. Allah says in Surah Yunus; Verses 55-56: “Now surely to Allah belongs all that the heavens and the earth contain. The Promise of Allah is true, though most of them may not know. It is He Who ordains life and death, and to Him you shall all return.” May Allah Almighty give us wisdom and ability to learn His Commands, and may we obey Him and His Prophet (PBUH) in all spheres of our lives.

Late Mr. Justice Salam was a scion of the family of Hazrat Qutab Jamal-ud-Din of Hansi, District Hisar, India. He got his early education in India and obtained LL.B. degree from the University of the Punjab in 1949, LL.M. degree from University of London in 1956 and was enrolled as Barrister in the Queen’s Bench Division 3 in the same year. Later, he obtained LL.M. degree from the Yale University in 1957. After return to Pakistan, he started legal practice at Lahore High Court and was also part-time lecturer at the Punjab University Law College. By dint of hard work, intensive preparations of the case and exhaustive study of the relevant case-law, Justice Salam soon acquired a position of eminence at the Bar.

Justice Salam was not only an eminent jurist, but also a good human being. He maintained the highest standards in his professional as well as personal life. All his contemporaries are agreed that he was always soft-spoken, polite and very articulate and simultaneously simple, modest and straight forward. He possessed a rare combination of unquestionable integrity, exceptional character and high moral values. His great qualities include his warm and caring nature, and profound commitments to the society. Above all, he was a deeply religious person with strong religious background.

He soon endeared himself to the members of the legal fraternity and became a popular figure of the profession. This is borne out from his election first as Secretary of the Lahore High Court Bar Association in 1961 and later its President in 1971. Besides, he was elected as a Member of the Punjab Bar Council for three consecutive terms.

Justice Salam knew that the Bench and the Bar are the two inextricable wings of the judicial system. They both sink and rise together. One’s success is the success of the other and one’s failure is the failure of the other. To promote the cause of justice, it is necessary that both the Bench and the Bar must work together. Justice Salam played a vital role for the cardinal relationship between both of them. His abilities as a lawyer were soon reckoned by the Bench and in recognition of his legal 4 acumen, he was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Lahore High Court in 1974, as Permanent Judge in 1976 and as Chief justice of the Lahore High Court in 1988. He was elevated to the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1989 and retired from this Court on 31st March, 1993. Justice Salam also participated in a large number of International Judicial Conferences and Seminars before and during his judgeship in the High Court and the Supreme Court.

After his retirement from the Supreme Court, Justice Salam was appointed as Federal Ombudsman in 1995. In the same year, the idea to form the Asian Ombudsman Association to promote the principles and practice of ombudsmanship was floated in a meeting of the Board of Directors of International Ombudsman Institute. Thus, under his able leadership, Pakistan took the initiative of establishing the Asian Ombudsmen Association with the support of our friendly country China and Justice Salam was elected as the first Chairman of the Board.

Throughout his judicial carrier, Justice Salam was reputed for being an honest, upright and fearless champion of the cause of justice and truth. His contributions to the development of our jurisprudence are immense, which are evident from the judgments either delivered by him as Judge of the Superior Courts or argued by him as a lawyer, reported in various law journals.

It is discernible from his judicial carrier that he had a passion to do justice according to law. His conceptualization of the real points involved in the case was expressed with admirable brevity. He always endeavoured to do justice while remaining within the four corners of judicial limits. As a Judge of the Superior Courts, he displayed equal measure of ability and 5 honesty. His judgments speak volumes of his erudition and keen analytic mind.

Justice Salam believed in dispensation of justice at all costs without being clogged by the procedural technicalities. He strived for judicious even handed yet speedy dispensation of justice. In his judicial carrier, he tried to create a balance between the two maxims, namely, “justice delayed is justice denied” and “justice hurried is justice buried”. His decisions reflect that he always made an effort to decide the cases on merit while adhering to the fundamental requirement of due process in accordance with the Constitution and the law. He was a great supporter of the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution. All those in the profession of law, be they lawyers or Judges, will continue to seek guidance from his judgments. He would be long remembered by his colleagues, friends and family members alike.

The sad demise of Justice Salam is yet another reminder to all of us that death is divinely willed ultimate reality and when it arrives, there is no escape from it. All humans have a transient existence and a short stay in this world, and sooner or later everyone has to say ‘goodbye’ to this world. However, as Muslims, it is our belief that death is not the end of everything; it is only the beginning of another life – the eternal life.

At this sad moment, I, on my own behalf and on behalf of my colleagues convey our heartfelt condolences to Begum Sahiba (who has not been able to attend today’s Reference because of health problems), all his children and other members of the bereaved family. May Allah Almighty ease Safar–e-akhrat of Justice Salam, make his grave a part of the Gardens of Paradise and shower His Mercies and Blessings upon him. May Allah give 6 courage and patience to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss! Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for joining us on this occasion and sharing our grief.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001
Email: pro_scp@yahoo.com

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