Veteran Supreme Court lawyer and former High Court judge Tafazzal Hossain Khan, popularly known as TH Khan, died in a private hospital in the capital on Sunday. He was 102.
Khan, also a former lawmaker and minister, breathed his last around 5:00pm in Bangladesh Specialised Hospital in Kalyanpur. The celebrated lawyer was admitted to the hospital in the morning in a critical condition. He was suffering from pneumonia and old-age complications.
He completed his graduation and post-graduation from Dhaka University in 1945 and 1947 respectively before joining the 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 was 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, 1981.
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. He was the first vice-chairman of BNP until his death.
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 his death.
To mourn the death of the veteran lawyer, the High Court will not sit today while the Appellate Division will suspend its proceedings after holding the morning session.
His namaz-e-janaza will be held on the Supreme Court Bar Association premises at 11:30am today.