Veteran Supreme Court lawyer and former High Court judge Tafazzal Hossain Khan, popularly known as TH Khan, died at a private hospital in the capital on Sunday. He was 102.
Khan, who was also a former lawmaker and minister, breathed his last around 5:00pm on the day at Bangladesh Specialised Hospital in Dhaka’s Kalyanpur.
Born at Outi village in Haluaghat upazila of Mymensingh on October 21, 1920, TH Khan completed his graduation and post graduation from Dhaka University in 1945 and 1947 respectively. He started legal profession in 1948.
He was enrolled as a lawyer in the High Court in 1951 and appointed as a judge in the then East Pakistan High Court in 1968. On March 25, 1971, he was appointed as a permanent judge of the High Court.
He returned to legal practice in 1973 following the independence and elected President of the Supreme Court Bar Association for the first time a year later.
In 1979, TH Khan was elected as a Member of Parliament from Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). He was sworn in as the Minister of Law, Education, Religion, Land and Revenue and Sports on November 15, 1971.
When Hussain Muhammad Ershad imposed martial law in 1972, he returned to the legal profession again. He was arrested in 1986 during the anti-Ershad movement.
In 1995, he was elected a judge of the Rwanda Tribunal of the International Criminal Court from the Asia Zone. Until June 19, 1999, he served as the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. He then returned to legal profession again.
Khan established the Nationalist Lawyers’ Forum, a pro-BNP lawyers’ organisation, in 1992 and served as its president till 2011. During his death, he was the first vice-chairman of BNP.
Apart from legal practice, he taught philosophy and law at Pabna Edward College, Jagannath College in Dhaka and Dhaka University in his early life.
The legendary lawyer continued to practice in the Supreme Court till 2019. A pall of gloom descended on the law fraternity following the spread of the news of his death.
The High Court would not sit for Monday while the Appellate Division will suspend its proceedings after holding morning sessions, to mourn the death of the veteran lawyer.
His namaz-e-janaza will be held at 11:30am on Monday on the Supreme Court Bar Association premises.