Justice Khan takes oath as PHC chief justice

PESHAWAR: Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan was sworn in as the chief justice of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Saturday.

The ceremony, held at the Governor House, Peshawar, was administered by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman.

The office of the chief justice fell vacant after the death of Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth from coronavirus in November last. Following the death, Justice Khan was sworn in as the acting chief justice.

He hails from Thana area in Malakand district and was born on Mar 31, 1961.

A leading figure in the lawyers’ movement from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he was the first lawyer to be arrested after the imposition of an emergency rule by former president General Pervez Musharraf on Nov 3, 2007. He was sent to the Dera Ismail Khan Central Prison under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance.

Justice Qaiser had graduated from the historical Islamia College, Peshawar, in 1981 and got his law degree from the Khyber Law College, Peshawar, in 1984.

He had also done his master’s in political science and journalism from the University of Peshawar in 1987 and 1991, respectively. He was enrolled as an advocate of lower courts in 1984 and that of the high court and the Supreme Court in 1991 and 2008, respectively.

Justice Qaiser and late Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth were made additional judges of the high court the same day, Aug 2, 2011.

Justice Qaiser was popular among lawyers, who elected him as a member of the KP Bar Council for two consecutive terms in Nov 1988 and Apr 2004. He was also elected as a member of the Pakistan Bar Council on Dec 22, 2010, with the highest votes among the elected members in the country.

Justice Qaiser also remained the additional advocate general of the province from Mar 17, 2008, to his resignation on Mar 25, 2010.

As a high court judge, he is known for taking a keen interest in issues of public interest, especially healthcare, education, forestry, human rights, tourism and the environment.

Justice Qaiser headed the bench, which took note of the heavy schoolbags carried by students and ordered the government to legislate on it. He had also issued orders from time to time for the removal of mobile phone base transceiver stations over threats to human health due to installation in close proximity to the population.

Justice Qaiser has regularly been heading a bench hearing dengue-related petitions and issued several directives to the government during the last couple of years for taking different steps to check the outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease.

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