By Aslam Aziz
With the passing away of Moosa Khan Laghari, the former judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Sindh High Court, a remarkable life, marked with honesty and competence, has come full circle.
There is an absolute consensus in the legal fraternity that the late jurist was one of the brilliant lawyers, ever produced by Sindh. Indeed, he was, because unlike, his contemporary judges, he used to focus on justice to the aggrieved. For which, he would keep himself away from fanfare of judicial activism, as he believed and practiced in the rule of erstwhile judges that a judge should speak through his judgment.
What to say of judicial activism, he never took notice of contempt throughout his judicial career, because he had feelings for the person in the dock and out of it. According to him, “our legal system is so torturous that even saints can’t bear it silently”. Hence, to arraign an offender of court’s decorum, never crossed his mind; instead he would reprimand the accused in his soft voice. It was surprising that despite his tolerant way of functioning, it happened rarely. The litigants and their prosecutors would respect him upfront, because they believed in his non- partisan examination of their case and the judgment thereof.
In this part of the world, people never forget a person, who has ever expressed a good word to him or who has been good for humanity in his life. Therefore, when the news of his demise was aired, it plunged people into gloom, setting them to recall the memories of their respective meeting with him. It is a fact that the people like every segment of life in our country, the judges too go on retirement, but unlike the rest of the retirees, they turn into a reference point, if they have left their legacy in the forms of erudite judgements.
Unfortunately, over the years, owing to some unwarranted reasons, the tradition of writing judgement comprehensively has waned; now the short orders are given as the interim relief.
But, the late justice was a member of different league, as he gave out hundreds of detailed judgements, which on the back of their lucid expression and pertinent references caught the attention of the legal fraternity of Pakistan, when they were carried by Pakistan Law Digest (PLD). The overwhelming response to Justice Moosa Khan Laghari’s interpretation of law and jurisprudence thereof, soon made him a celebrity in the judicial circles, every fellow wanted to have his input in the cases, they would have been dealing with. By nature he was a generous soul, so he never restrained himself from helping others. And, the people, who possess class with talents, are bound to go places, and our protagonist went places, despite his humble beginning at a distant village.
The bard, I mean Shakespeare says” you are great as long as you are in a position”. But, my understanding of being great, differs and that is : one will be great forever, if his greatness has merits, as he himself had” I think, if a person has got helpful nature, he would command attention from people always, like the justice Laghari kept drawing after his retirement. However, he never looked back at positions, offered by the governments.
He was determined not to have the encore of his past experience. Nevertheless, he continued his counseling on the corporate side, because it was his first love and you know first love never dies. Moreover, he never let go of his hands, the thread of his association with his legal and judicial fraternities till he closed his eyes.
In view of his steadfastness in relationships with cross sections of the society, the outpouring of emotions, at his funeral, was understandable and a sort of testimony of his attachment with the mourners, who had come from far and wide to pay their last respect to the man, who lived an exemplary life: beyond the ethnic and provincial prejudices and with honesty in toto.
Brief biodata of Justice Laghari
- Born on 1st January, 1946 at village Dhingano Bozdar, now district Tando Allahyar in a religious and respectable agriculturist family.
- Matriculated from Sindh Model High School Tando Allahyar in 1961 and graduated in Arts from University of Sindh with Economics and Political Science in the year 1969.
- Passed LL.B in the year 1976, from Hyderabad Sindh Law College Sindh University and enrolled as an advocate in the year 1980, actively pursued legal profession for 20 years, till elevation to the Bench.
- Taught International Law, Constitutional Law, Law of Contract and other subjects at Sindh Government Law College Hyderabad.
- Remained Legal Advisor to National Bank of Pakistan, besides other statutory bodies run under the control of Federal and Sindh Governments. Conducted cases on behalf of Federation of Pakistan, Pakistan Railways, P.T.C.L. and local authorities. Worked as Retainer Legal Advisor for a number of prestigious Industrial Organizations.
- Elevated to the bench on 10th October 2000.
- Nominated by full court as Member Provincial Selection Board for Judicial Officers in the year 2003, and subsequently as convenor/Senior Member of the Board.
- Nominated as Chairman, Sindh Subordinate Judiciary Service Tribunal in the year 2005.
- Member of Election Tribunal to hear appeals against the orders of Returning Officers of acceptance or rejection of Nomination Forms for National Assembly and Provincial Assembly; Nominated as Election Tribunal for Sindh Province to adjudicate Election Petitions (General Elections 2002).
- Nominated as Member Govering Body of Ziauddin Medical University Karachi, and Member Board of Governors, Isra University, Hyderabad.