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Justice Umar Ata Bandial took oath on Wednesday as the 28th Chief Justice of Pakistan, Aaj News reported.

He was administered the oath by President Dr Arif Alvi at Aiwan-e-Sadr. The oath-taking ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan, along with other ministers and officials. Justice Bandial will continue as the chief justice till his retirement on September 18, 2023.

President Alvi had appointed Justice Bandial as the CJP in January.

As per a notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice: “The President of Pakistan is pleased to appoint Justice Umar Ata Bandial, the most senior judge of the Supreme Court, as the Chief Justice of Pakistan with effect from 02-02-2022.”

Justice Bandial was elevated as judge of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on December 4, 2004.

He declined oath under PCO in November 2007 but was restored as a judge of the LHC as a result of the movement of lawyers and civil society for revival of the judiciary and constitutional rule in the country.

Later, he served for two years as the chief justice LHC until his elevation as a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in June 2014.

President appoints Justice Bandial as CJP

During his career as a judge of the LHC and the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Justice Bandial has rendered judgments on a number of important public law and private law issues.

These include pronouncements on civil and commercial disputes, Constitutional rights and matters of public interest.

He secured his BA (Economics) degree from Columbia University, USA followed by a Law Tripos degree from Cambridge University, UK and qualified as Barrister-at-Law from Lincoln’s Inn, London.

In 1983, he was enrolled as an advocate of the LHC and some years later, as an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Justice Bandial says govts need to take steps aimed at expanding tax base

While addressing the full court reference held on Tuesday on the eve of Justice Gulzar’s retirement, Justice Umar Ata Bandial said the federal and provincial governments need to take steps for increasing revenue generation by expanding the tax base, and empowering statutory and public institutions to effectively perform their role under the Constitution and the law.

“Pakistan suffers from a mushrooming population which in turn has left it vulnerable to social and economic pressures that are typically faced by similarly situated countries. These include poor health and education facilities, low productivity, unskilled labour, unemployment and therefore poverty,” he said.

To tackle the myriad problems facing Pakistan, all concerned stakeholders need to come together to address the alarming rate of population growth, he added.

In the backdrop of criticism of judges after the announcement of Supreme Court on Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s petition, he said; “All of us have deep respect and regard for each other. The differences in our opinions in matters of law arise from our individual perceptions.”

“This diversity brings richness to our understanding. That is how yesterday’s minority view may become tomorrow’s majority judgment. But we are surprised that some observers who discharge a noble duty as watchful media, particularly members of the social media, take it upon themselves to scandalise judges rather than focusing on the criticism of their judgments.”

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