Retired Chief Justice Abdul Majid Cockar died yesterday morning and was laid to rest in the afternoon at the Kariokor Muslim cemetery.
Justice Cockar died aged 93 at his home in Westlands, Nairobi in what family members described as old age-related complications.
At a brief service attended by close family friends and Chief Justice David Maraga, Cockar was eulogised as a diligent and committed judge.
CJ Maraga described Cockar as a “beacon of motivation for many in the bar and the bench”.
“The Judiciary has learnt of the demise of former Chief Justice Abdul Majid Cockar with great sorrow,” said Justice Maraga, adding, “Former colleagues in the Judiciary and the legal profession agree that Justice Cockar has left an indelible footprint in Kenya as a former public servant, lawyer, judge and family man. His 44 years in the legal profession will remain a beacon of motivation for many in the bar and the bench.”
He said Justice Cockar will be remembered for his exemplary commitment and diligence to his work during his service in the Judiciary.
“At the Judiciary, we mourn with the family, relatives and friends of the great man that was Justice Cockar,” said Justice Maraga.
He said the Judiciary will hold a special court session in honour of the former Chief Justice.
“While he may be physically gone, Justice Cockar immortalised his life in a book launched in 2012 that I would advise Kenyans to read,” said Maraga.
The book, which chronicles his memoirs, ‘The Doings, Non-doings and Misdoings of Kenyan Chief Justices since 1963 to 1998’ depicts the judge’s personal account and the history of the Judiciary.
It gives rare glimpses into the dynamics of the administration of justice in post-Independence Kenya.
Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula described Cockar as a hard-working and honest judge.
“I appeared before him many times and I can attest that he was one of the greatest judges in the country. He heard and determined cases on merit and did not appear to be compromised at all in his work,” the Bungoma senator said.
He added: “He will be remembered more for his impartiality and delivery of timely judgements during his tenure as a Judge.”
Cockar, born in 1923, is survived by wife Fahmida Cockar and one son.
He served as a judge for 17 years before he was appointed Chief Justice on December 24, 1994 and served until 1997 when he retired.