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Rana Bhagwandas, the first Hindu Chief Justice of Pakistan died

Bhagwandas served Pakistan’s Supreme Court as acting Chief Justice in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He was the first Hindu and second non-Muslim to head the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Feb 24, 2015 13:13 IST
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Rana BhagwandasRana Bhagwandas, the former acting Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan died on 23 February 2015 in Karachi, Pakistan. He was 72.

Bhagwandas was the first Hindu and second non-Muslim to head the Supreme Court of Pakistan. First non-Muslim Chief Justice was Alvin Robert Cornelius (a Christian).

About Rana Bhagwandas
• He studied law and carried a postgraduate degree in Islamic Studies.
• He was considered as an expert on Constitutional law.
• He was appointed as a judge in 1967, two years after he started practicing as an advocate.
• In 1994, he was appointed as a judge of Sindh High Court.
• He was appointed as an acting Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) in 2005 and 2006 during the absence of the then Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.
• He acted as an acting Chief Justice in 2007, the year when the country was going through judicial crisis.
• After retirement from Supreme Court, he was appointed as the chairman of Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) of Pakistan.
• He was born on 20 December 1942 in a Hindu Sindhi Rajput family in Naseerabad, Larkana District (now Qambar Shahdadkot District) in Sindh.

Supreme Court of Pakistan is mentioned in Constitution of Pakistan in Part VII: The Judicature, while the acting Chief Justice is defined under Article 180.

Article 180: Acting Chief Justice.

At any time when-
(a) The office of Chief Justice of Pakistan is vacant; or
(b) The Chief Justice of Pakistan is absent or is unable to perform the functions of his office due to any other cause, the President shall appoint [one of the judges of the Supreme Court who have not previously held the office of Chief Justice of Pakistan otherwise than under this Article.] to act as Chief Justice of Pakistan.

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