Justice Umar Ata Bandial took oath as the 28th Chief Justice of Pakistan at a ceremony at Aiwan-i-Sadr in Islamabad on Wednesday.
He was administered the oath of office by President Arif Alvi. Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Supreme Court judges, senior lawyers, and various ministers were in attendance.
Justice Bandial will serve in the top judicial office until Sept 16, 2023. He has previously served as chief justice of the Lahore High Court.
According to the scheme of seniority, Justice Qazi Faez Isa will replace Justice Bandial as the next CJP in Sept 2023 and serve until Oct 25, 2024. He, then, will be replaced by Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan for 282 days. Then, on Aug 4, 2025, the post will go to Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah.
Justice Shah is expected to remain in office till Nov 27, 2027, when he will be succeeded by Justice Munib Akhtar.
Justice Yahya Afridi will be the country’s next top judge from Dec 14, 2028, until Jan 22, 2030.
‘Criticise judgements, not judges’
A day earlier, Justice Bandial laid out his roadmap for how the apex court will function during his term while speaking at a full-court reference held in honor of the outgoing chief justice Gulzar Ahmed.
Justice Bandial also criticized mainstream and social media alike for resorting to attacking judges rather than criticizing their judgments.
“The differences in judges’ opinions in matters of law arise from our individual perceptions and this diversity brings richness to our understanding,” Justice Bandial explained.