Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth – Pakistan’s most senior judicial casualty from COVID-19

06:40 PM | 13 Nov, 2020
Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth – Pakistan’s most senior judicial casualty from COVID-19
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ISLAMABAD – Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth died of Covid-19 on Thursday night after battling the virus for two weeks.

The senior judge was initially admitted to a hospital in Peshawar but later shifted to Kulsum International Hospital in Islamabad where he died due to complications of the novel disease.

The funeral prayers of Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth has been offered on Friday at the old Army Stadium ground in Peshawar. KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and other notables attended the ceremony.

Background

Born in D.I Khan in 1961, Seth received his secondary education in the year in the year 1977 from Cantt Public School, Peshawar. He has done his graduation from Islamia College, Peshawar in the year 1981, he had also done the second course in Arts from the University of Peshawar in the year 1982. Later enrolled in LLB from Khyber Law College, Peshawar in the year 1985 and done his masters from University of Peshawar with political science major in the year 1986.

Professional Career

Seth started his professional career in December 1985 when he was enrolled as an advocate in the lower court after working for 5 years, he started practice as an Advocate High Court on 22.03.1990 Later in 2008 he enrolled as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Judicial Career

Elevated to the Bench as Additional Judge on 2nd August, 2011 he remained as Banking Judge, Peshawar High Court, Peshawar Remained as Company Judge, Peshawar High Court, Peshawar. He remained as Member Subordinate Judiciary Service Tribunal, Peshawar.

Chief Justice, PHC

Justice Seth took oath as 24th Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court on 28th June, 2018.

Importance verdicts

Here are a few judgments Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth will be remembered for!

Musharaf High treason case

Justice Seth’s most important decision was the one he made in the General Pervez Musharraf treason case. He was part of the special bench that sentenced Musharraf to death under Article 6 of the Constitution.

Justice Seth was inducted into the special court hearing high treason case against Pervez Musharraf in October 2019 as the president of the court. On 17 December 2019, the three-member bench of this special court awarded death sentence to Musharraf in short order. This short order was criticized by Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations of Pakistan military, General Asif Ghafoor. Ghafoor said in his statement that "there was pain and anguish among the rank and file of military" due to this punishment and that Musharraf cannot be a traitor since he served his country for 40 years and fought wars for its defense.

Challenged the appointment of LHC judges

Challenged the elevation of three Lahore High Court (LHC) judges to the apex court and arguing that their appointments were made in violation of the principle of seniority.

Lawyers support against non-elevation

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council flayed the non-elevation of Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth to the Supreme Court by the federal government and Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) and announced that lawyers would boycott courts across the province today (Tuesday).

Suspends release orders of military courts

Set aside convictions of around 200 suspected militants by military courts and ordered the relevant authorities to set them free if not required in any other case.

The Peshawar High Court has ruled that the recent terrorism convictions by the military courts in the province were wrongful and were based on ill-will and not evidence.

Media trial

In June 2015, Justice Seth stayed lower court proceedings over the defamation suit filed against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan following Bakht Baidar’s appeal in the Peshawar high court.

Mashal murder case

On September 25, 2018, Justice Waqar Seth led a single-member bench to reject the bail of one of the prime accused in the Mashal Khan murder case.