ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court held a full court reference in honour of Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan on his retirement here Monday.

The reference was attended by all judges of the top court, Attorney General, Pakistan Bar Council vice chairman, Supreme Court Bar Association president, its members and legal fraternity.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan was the judge, who had announced disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, in Panama Papers case.

He was also among minority judges who struck down 21st constitutional amendment to try civilians in military courts on August 5, 2015. He was also among minority judges who directed the retired superior courts judges with less than five years of tenure to deposit their pension benefits (Rs1.64 billion).

He was among the few judges who were restored along with former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on March 16, 2009 after a successful lawyers’ movement.

Justice Ejaz was the only judge of the PHC who did not take oath under the November 3, 2007 Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) nor Naek formula.

Justice Ejaz was born on the 8th of May, 1953 in Mansehra and had received his basic education in his hometown and after completing his FA from the Government College, Mansehra, he graduated from Abottabad and thereafter he graduated in Law in 1977 from the Khyber Law College.

Immediately after, he joined the legal profession. His elevation to the Bench as Additional Judge in September, 2000 was an acknowledgment of his professional capabilities and after having served as a Judge of the Peshawar High Court for nine years, he was appointed as Chief Justice on October 20, 2009 and on November 17, 2011 appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

While addressing the full court Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar highlighted biography and services to the nation of Justice Ejaz.

The chief justice said Justice Ejaz has delivered some remarkable judgments which will be remembered for years to come.

“That many who know Justice Ejaz, are aware of the his brave heart, wisdom, zeal and wealth of knowledge he has, not only in law, but in philosophy, theology, Islam, history, both English and Urdu literature, etc.  In this world, there are very few who have the courage to stand for what they believe is right, and even fewer can do so in the face of fierce opposition with the grace and resolve that Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan has displayed on so many occasions.”

Throughout his judicial career, he has always been an advocate of fairness and equity. He never allowed technicalities to create hurdles in the way of justice or to defeat the ends of justice, the chief justice maintained.

Following the address of CJP, Justice Ejaz adressed the audience and said it is really saddening to part with his fraternity but it is gladdening to note that the institution is in safe hands.

"A poor slob like me may not have added to the glamour of the institution but I can say on my word of honour that I tried my utmost," Justice Ejaz added.

"How far have I been successful is for you to decide but, do not forget I am not an angel, an oracle or an apostle. I am a human being. As such I may have fallen, I may have slipped, I may have strayed, I may have tripped. Every now and then we find ourselves in an arena, where our personal interest is pitched against the national interest."

He said the strangest part of the story is that we suffer because of our own doings, yet we attribute our plight to the Heaven or those who are at the helm of affairs. "We do not want to realise that all this is on account of our own acts of omission and commission. We stridently condemn others for doing certain things what we do ourselves with impunity."

Merit, which includes ability, efficiency, honesty, integrity and hard work, is a virtue that leads a people or a nation to a height or a place where they earn and acquire respect, renown and recognition, he added.

Nothing can be honourable in a society where justice is absent. Merit is one of the greatest victims in a society of that type. Honest and dishonest, efficient and inefficient, hard-working and work-avoiding, are treated alike, Justice Ejaz maintained.

At the end Justice Ejaz prayed for his parents and thanked his wife, children private secretary Muhammad Azhar Malik and Zubair Ahmed, who worked with him till late in the night.