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Justice Umer ata Bandial to become chief justice next

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The Ministry of Law and Justice has started working on the summary to appoint Justice Umer Ata Bandial as the 28th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The ministry will send the summary to President Arif Alvi for approval.

Justice Bandial will be sworn into office February 22 after the current Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed retires February 21.

Constitutionally, a chief justice retires after reaching the age of 65, also called the age of superannuation. After retirement, the senior-most judge becomes the chief justice.

The president only issues the notification of the appointment and has otherwise no role in the appointment of chief justice.

Currently, Justice Bandial is the senior-most judge in the apex court.

Justice Bandial will serve for 19 months till September 16, 2023. He will be followed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, who will stay in the office till October 25, 2024.

Justice Isa will be replaced by Justice Ijazul Ahsan, who will work as chief justice till August 4, 2025. After him, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah will become the top judge till November 26, 2027.

He will be followed by Justice Munib Akhtar who will serve till December 13, 2028. After him, Justice Yahya Afridi will be the coutry’s top jurist till January 22, 2030.

The retirement of Justice Afridi in 2030 will be a historic moment. He is likely to be replaced by Justice Ayesha Malik, who will be the first woman chief justice of Pakistan.

 Earlier this month, the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) has approved her elevation to the Supreme Court as a judge. She is poised to become the first woman judge at the apex court.

The nomination needs to be endorsed by the Parliamentary Committee on Appointment of Judges. However, approval by the parliamentary panel is considered a mere formal requirement. Hence, people have reason to believe that for the first time in history, a woman has made it to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.


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