Sheikh Anwarul Haq

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The Honourable
Sheikh Anwarul Haq
شیخ انوار الحق
Justice Anwar Ul Haq.jpg
Chief Justice Sheikh Anwarul Haq (1917–1995)
Chief Justice of Pakistan
In office
23 September 1977 – 25 March 1981
Nominated by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Appointed by Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry
Preceded by Yaqub Ali
Succeeded by Mohammad Haleem
Acting President of Pakistan
In office
20 April 1978 – 7 May 1978
Preceded by Fazlul Qadir Chaudhry
(29 November 1963–12 June 1965)
Succeeded by Wasim Sajjad
(18 July 1993–14 November 1993)
Senior Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan
In office
16 October 1972 – 23 September 1977
Nominated by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Personal details
Born Sheikh Anwarul Haq
(1917-05-11)11 May 1917
Jullundur, British Indian Empire
(now India)
Died 3 March 1995(1995-03-03) (aged 77)
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Citizenship British Raj British subject (1917–1947)
 Pakistan (1947-1995)
Alma mater DAV College, Kanpur
Punjab University
Profession Jurist

Chief Justice Sheikh Anwarul Haq (Urdu: شیخ انوار الحق‎‎ ; 11 May 1917 – 3 March 1995), was a Pakistani jurist and an academic who served as the Chief Justice of Pakistan from 23 September 1977 until resigning on 25 March 1981.

Educated as an economist at the DAV College, Kanpur and the Punjab University in Lahore, he served as a civil servant of the Indian Civil Service as an appointee to lead the municipal governance in the British India in 1944. He continued serving in the civil service after the independence of Pakistan as a result of partition of British India in 1947 and subsequently elevated as a judge in the Sindh High Court in 1957.

In 1962, he was nominated to be served in the Supreme Court and later appointed as Chief Justice of Lahore High Court in 1970 before his reappointment as a Senior Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1971. He 1972, he earned public and international notability when he co-chaired the War Enquiry Commission with Chief Justice Hamoodur Rahman to investigate the economic and military collapse of Pakistan in a war against India in 1971 that led to the succession of East Pakistan as Bangladesh.

He was known for his judicial conservative philosophical leanings and is noted in country's political history for providing legality for the martial law upheld by chief of army staff General Zia-ul-Haq to restore law and order, in the light of doctrine of necessity, as part of his conservative leanings.[1] In addition, he also heard the case of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and controversially upheld the capital sentence by the Lahore High Court for authorizing the murder of a political opponent.[2] In 1981, Haq notably refused to taken an oath under the imposed PCO, resigning on conscientious grounds.[3]


Early life and public service[edit]

Sheikh Anwarul Haq was born in Jullunder, Punjab, British India on 11 May 1917, to a Punjabi family.[4] S. Anwarul Haq earned early education from Jullunder and Wazirabad, passing his matriculation from Jullunder in 1932.:259[4] He stood first in matriculation that earned him a scholarship to attend the DAV College, Kanpur in 1932.:259[4] In 1936, he earned BA in Economics and Political science and went on to attend the Islamia College of Punjab University, where he earned a MA in Economics in 1938.[5] He ranked first in MA in Economics examination at the Punjab University, setting a new record in that subject.:54[4]

During his time at the Punjab University, Haq participated in a large number of declamation contests and prize debates and was often judged as the best speaker.:55[4] From 1936–38, he was an activist of All-India Muslim League and was a student advocate of the assertion of the separate identity of Indian Muslims.:53–54[4] He attended the All-India Muslim League meeting in Calcutta in December 1937 as a student delegate.:54[4]

In 1939, he was selected and joined the Indian Civil Service and went to United Kingdom to be educated in Oxford.:53–54[4] Upon returning in 1940, he was appointed Assistant Commissioner at Ferozepur and later appointed as Undersecretary of Punjab and the North-West Frontier from 1942 until 1944.:214[6] In 1944, he was appointed as Sub Divisional Magistrate at the Dalhousie, India and heard various cases involving the civil lawsuits.[7] During the same time, he sent to Gurdaspur and its was appointed as Deputy Commissioner and later elevated as Session Judge as well as Assistant Commissioner in 1946.[8] For a short brief of time, he served as the deputy commissioner of Hissar (in East Punjab) in 1946, before joining the Cabinet Mission to be served as its Secretary to the Partition Steering Committee for the Punjab in 1947.[8]

After the establishment of Pakistan as a result of partition of British India by the British Empire, he opted for Pakistan and appointed as deputy commissioner of Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan.:696[9] During this time, he worked towards managing the Indian emigrants settling in Pakistan.:228[10] From 1948–52, he served in the bureaucracy as deputy commissioner of Montgomery and Sialkot.[8]

In 1952, he joined the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as its deputy secretary until 1954 when he left for the United Kingdom to attend the Imperial Defence College in London.[11] In 1956, he earned the degree and secured his graduation from the Imperial Defence College and subsequently returned to Pakistan.[11] He was appointed as joint secretary in MoD but later moved to Ministry of Law and Justice (MoLJ) to pursue career as federal judge.[11]

Supreme court and chief justice[edit]

In 1957, he was elevated as district-session judge in Sindh High Court but later moved to Lahore High Court in Punjab in 1958.:225–247[12]

In 1959, he was appointed as a judge in the West Pakistan High Court and moved on to the Supreme Court as a senior justice in 1962.[11] In 1965, he was appointed as the deputy leader of the Pakistan Delegation to the Third Commonwealth and Empire Law Conference held at Sydney, Australia in 1965.[11] In 1967, he was appointed as a member of the Law Reform Commission led by Chief Justice Alvin Robert Cornelius that conducted the various case studies on land reforms in Pakistan.:266-267[13]

In 1969, he was selected to lead a Legal Expert Delegation to Somalia to provide expertise in overviewing the constitutional crises in Somalia.[11] In 1970, he was elevated as Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court by President Yahya Khan who issued the decree, the LFO No. 1970 that dissolved the status of West Pakistan.:184-186[14]

He witnessed the war between India and Pakistan that resulted in the succession of East Pakistan as Bangladesh.:41-42[15]

On December 26 1971, he was named as a member of the War Enquiry Commission (WEC) alongside with Chief Justice Hamoodur Rahman, and the chief justices of the Sindh, Balochistan, and Punjab High Court, formed by the Chief Justice Rahman on the request of then-President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.:229-230[16] On 1 January 1972, he was re-elevated as the senior justice at the Supreme Court.:141[17]

Temporal Order Name of Post From To
1 Secretary to the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province Public Service Commission. Secretary to Government of Punjab, Pakistan, Medical & Local Government Department 22 February 1944 29 February 1944
2 Under-Secretary to Government of Punjab, Pakistan Revenue Department, Lahore 1 March 1944 1 May 1944
3 Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Dalhousie, India 2 May 1944
4 Special Sub-Judge at Lahore for Judicial training 9 November 1944
5 Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Dalhousie 28 May 1945
6 Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, India June 1945 July 1945
7 District and Sessions Judge, Gurdaspur 3 November 1945
8 Assistant Commissioner, Gurdaspur 23 February 1946
9 Deputy Commissioner, Hisar, India 27 March 1946
10 Secretary to the Partition Steering Committee for Punjab, Pakistan 9 July 1947
11 Deputy Commissioner, Rawalpindi, Pakistan 8 August 1947
12 Deputy Commissioner, Montgomery (now Sahiwal), Pakistan October 1948
13 Deputy Commissioner, Sialkot April 1950
14 Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Government of Pakistan, Rawalpindi January 1952 December 1954
15 Training at Imperial Defence College (IDC), London January 1955 December 1955
16 Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Government of Pakistan, Karachi August 1956
17 Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Government of Pakistan, Karachi August 1956
18 District and Sessions Judge, Karachi February 1957
19 District and Sessions Judge, Lahore June 1958
20 Additional Judge, High Court of West Pakistan, Lahore 24 October 1959
21 Permanent Judge, High Court of West Pakistan, Lahore 24 October 1962
22 Member of the Law Reforms Commission May 1967
23 Acting leader of the legal expert delegation to the Republic of Somalia July 1969
24 Chief Justice Lahore High Court, Lahore, on dismemberment of One Unit 1 July 1970
25 Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan 16 October 1972
26 Chief Justice of Pakistan 23 September 1977 25 March 1981
27 Acting President of Pakistan 20 April 1978 7 May 1978

Haq attended the Third Commonwealth and Empire Law Conference in Sydney, Australia in August–September 1965 as leader of the Pakistan delegation. He was interested in academic and educational activities and had been a member of the Syndicates of:

Haq was President of the Himayat-i-Islam Law College, Lahore, and member of the University Law College, Lahore committee[which?] for several years. He was acting Vice-Chancellor of Punjab University on multiple occasions. He was appointed as a member of the 1971 War Inquiry Commission from January 1972 to November 1974 along with CJ Hamoodur Rahman. He was also appointed as Chairman of the National Pay Commission and Armed Forces Pay Commission in January 1976. He represented the Pakistan Supreme Court at the centenary celebrations of the Supreme Court of Ghana at Accra in October 1976. He was appointed Chairman of the Commission on the Indus River System in September 1977. He was appointed Chairman of the Civil Services Commission in February 1978. He had been President of the British Universities Alumni Association, Lahore since 1962.[when?] He was a guest speaker at a large number of social, intellectual, and cultural functions in Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Karachi.

See also[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Muhammad Yaqub Ali
Chief Justice of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Mohammad Haleem


  1. ^ Burki, Shahid Javed. Historical Dictionary of Pakistan. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781442241480. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Constable, Pamela. Playing with Fire: Pakistan at War with Itself. Random House Publishing Group. p. 219. ISBN 9780679603450. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  3. ^ "Chief Justice Anwar ul Haq". Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  4. ^ British Government, His Majesty's Stationary Office, 1944 (1945). India Office and Burma Office List Advertiser (googlebook). London: Harrison & Sons Ltd. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  5. ^ "Sheikh Anwarul Haque vs The State Of Bihar & Ors on 31 August, 2015". The Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c "Lahore High Court, Lahore". Lahore High Court, Lahore Press. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  7. ^ Zaidi, Z. H.; Project, Quaid-i-Azam Papers. Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah Papers: Pakistan : pangs of birth, 15 August-30 September 1947. Quaid-i-Azam Papers Project, National Archives of Pakistan. ISBN 9789698156091. Retrieved 16 December 2016. 
  8. ^ GoP, Government of Pakistan. The Journey to Pakistan: A Documentation on Refugees of 1947. Government of Pakistan, Cabinet Secretariat, Cabinet Division, National Documentation Centre. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Baqa, Khurram. "OPF". OPF Khurram. Retrieved 16 December 2016. 
  10. ^ Yousaf, Nasim. Pakistan's Birth & Allama Mashraqi: Chronology & Statements, Period,1947-1963. AMZ Publications. ISBN 9780976033349. Retrieved 16 December 2016. 
  11. ^ Mian, Ajmal (2004). A Judge Speaks Out. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195799842. 
  12. ^ Burki, Shahid Javed; Baxter, Craig; LaPorte, Robert; Azfar, Kamal (1991). Pakistan Under the Military: Eleven Years of Zia Ul-Haq. Westview Press. ISBN 9780813379852. 
  13. ^ Matīna, Ābadula (1991). Bangladesh liberation struggle, 1971: the role of USA, China, Soviet Union & India. Radical Asia Publications. Retrieved 17 December 2016. 
  14. ^ Dixit, J. N. India-Pakistan in War and Peace. Routledge. ISBN 9781134407583. 
  15. ^ Court, Pakistan Supreme. Annual Report. Secretariat, Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan. Retrieved 17 December 2016.