Rana Bhagwandas

Last updated

Rana Bhagwandas
رانا بھگوان داس
راڻا ڀڳوانداس
Rana Bhagwandas.jpg
Chief Justice of Pakistan
Acting
In office
24 March 2007 20 July 2007
Appointed by Pervez Musharraf
Preceded by Javaid Iqbal (Acting)
Succeeded by Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry
Personal details
Born(1942-12-20)20 December 1942
Naseerabad, Sind Province, British India
(now Pakistan)
Died23 February 2015(2015-02-23) (aged 72)
Karachi, Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad by Usman Ghani.jpg
Supreme Court of Pakistan

Rana Bhagwandas (20 December 1942 – 23 February 2015) was a Pakistani jurist who served as a senior judge and acting chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (CJP). He enjoyed extremely high reputation as a judge. [1] He remained the acting CJP during the 2007 judicial crisis in Pakistan, and also briefly became the acting Chief Justice of Pakistan when the incumbent Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry went on foreign tours in 2005 and 2006, [2] and thus became the first Hindu and the third non-Muslim to serve as chief of the highest court in Pakistan. [3] [4] [5] [6] Rana Bhagwandas also worked as the Chairman of Federal Public Service Commission of Pakistan. He headed the interview panel for the selection of the federal civil servants in 2009.

Contents

Early life

Rana Bhagwandas was born on 20 December 1942 into a Hindu Sindhi Rajput family [7] in Naseerabad, Larkana District (now Qambar Shahdadkot District) in Sindh. He studied law and received a Master's degree in Islamic studies. [3] He joined the bar in 1965 and after two years of practising law with Abdul Ghafoor Bhurgri, an eminent lawyer of Larkana, joined the Pakistani judicial system in 1967. [8] Later, he became a sessions judge, and subsequently, a judge of the Sindh High Court. [9] He was not a fan of cricket, but remained a supporter of the Pakistan cricket team. [10]

Judicial career

Rana Bhagwandas was promoted to the Sindh High Court in 1994. In 1999, his appointment to the superior judiciary was challenged by a constitutional petition (no. 1069/1999) against the Government of Pakistan and Judge Bhagwandas. The petition demanded that the judicial bench consisting of Judge Bhagwandas should be declared unconstitutional because of Bhagwandas' religion, claiming that only Muslims can be appointed to the superior judiciary. [11] The petition was rejected, and the petitioner was condemned by other judges of the high court and by a significant number of lawyers. [12]

In 2000, he joined the Supreme Court of Pakistan after taking an oath of allegiance to Pervez Musharraf's administration under the PCO. [13] Justice Bhagwandas took strong note of a kidnapping case involving a girl in North-West Frontier Province forced to be a prostitute for four years. [14] A believer in the sanctity of the Constitution of Pakistan and its legal system, Bhagwandas maintained that the law was equal for all religious communities in Pakistan. While staunchly defending Pakistan's society and legal system against charges of bias and suppression of minorities, Bhagwandas was also a vocal opponent of the practice of honour killings of women in the provincial rural areas.

For the 2006–2007 judicial year, Justice Bhagwandas was a member of the second bench of justices which was also home to Justice Nasir ul-Mulk and Justice Syed Jamshed Ali. [15]

On 28 September 2007, in a 6–3 vote the court, Judge Rana Bhagwandas presiding, ruled: "These petitions are held to be non-maintainable but he was among the three dissenting judges who thought that Gen. Musharraf should relinquish army chief's post." The judgment removed obstacles to Pervez Musharraf's election bid but gave Bhagwandas more honour and respect in the country. [16]

Justice Bhagwandas refused to take oath under the PCO which was issued by then President of Pakistan General Musharraf and was among the 60 judges sacked on 3 November 2007. He retired in December 2007 and was reinstated in retired status.

Acting Chief Justice

On 9 March 2007, Pakistan President Musharraf declared Chief Justice Chaudhary "non-functional" [17] and forwarded a reference against him to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) of Pakistan. While Justice Bhagwandas should have taken his place as Acting Chief Justice, but his whereabouts remained untraceable and it was said that he was on a foreign tour of India. On 15 March 2007 a petition was filed in the Supreme Court urging the Pakistan Government to declare his whereabouts. [18] He returned home on 23 March. He was aware of events transpiring in Pakistan and on his return from India, he assumed the office of the acting CJP from 24 March to 20 July 2007 till the SCP full court restored justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. [19]

Earlier, justice Bhagwandas had also served as acting Chief Justice – first in 2005 while Chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was on a ten-day trip to the People's Republic of China and then again in December 2006 [2] when the latter was on a Haj pilgrimage. He was the first Hindu and the third non-Muslim (after A. R. Cornelius and Dorab Patel) to serve in this post. [6] On 8 February 2005 Chief Justice Rana Bhagwandas was honoured with "Siropa" (robe of honour) during his maiden visit to Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar, India. He was on a private visit to Amritsar, Ropar and Chandigarh with Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, another judge of the Pakistan Supreme Court and his wife. [20]

Chairman FPSC

Rana Bhagwandas worked as the Chairman of Federal Public Service Commission of Pakistan from November 2009 [21] to December 2012. He was also a member of the selection board of the Sindh Madressatul Islam University Karachi. [22]

Death

He died on 23 February 2015 in Karachi. The 72-year-old former judge was under treatment for a heart ailment at a private hospital at the time of his death. [23] [24] [25] [26] [27]

See also

Related Research Articles

Supreme Court of Pakistan Federal Court based in Islamabad

The Supreme Court of Pakistan is the apex court in the judicial hierarchy of Pakistan.

Nazim Hussain Siddiqui

Nazim Hussain Siddiqui a Pakistani jurist who served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, from 31 December 2003 to 29 June 2005.

Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry

Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is a Pakistani jurist who served as the 20th Chief Justice of Pakistan over three non-consecutive terms from 29 June 2005 to 11 December 2013.

Javed Iqbal (judge, born 1946)

Javed Iqbal is the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of Pakistan, in office since 8 October 2017. This is a misconception that Chairman NAB is a son of Allama Iqbal. He is also a retired Senior Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The 12 May Karachi riots, also known as Black Saturday riots, were a series of violent clashes between rival political activists in Karachi. The unrest began as the recently suspended chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry arrived at the Jinnah International Airport on 12 May 2007. Gunfights and clashes erupted across the provincial capital as Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP), and Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) activists, who supported the judge, and the pro-government Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activists took to the streets against each other. Government machinery was used to block all major roads. Police was accomplice and a silent spectator to the violence. News media was attacked at Guru mandir when MQM activists began firing at AAJ TV headquarters which was shown on live television.

Ali Ahmad Kurd, is a Pakistani lawyer who has been president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and is prominent in the Lawyers' Movement in that country. He opposed former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

Suspension of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry

Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was made a "non-functional Chief Justice" on 9 March 2007. In so acting, President Pervez Musharraf invoked two main clauses of the Constitution of Pakistan. The suspension evoked a nationwide popular mass protest movement led by lawyers, known as the Lawyers' Movement and eventually culminated with the Pakistan Long March.

2007 Pakistani state of emergency 2007 political crisis in Pakistan

A state of emergency was declared by President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf on 3 November 2007 and lasted until 15 December 2007, during which the constitution of Pakistan was suspended. When the state of emergency was declared, Musharraf controversially held both positions of President and Chief of Army Staff. He later resigned as army chief 25 days into the emergency on 28 November. The state of emergency and its responses are generally attributed to the controversies surrounding the re-election of Musharraf during the presidential election on 6 October 2007, including his holding of both offices of President and Chief of Army Staff at the time.

Abdul Hameed Dogar Pakistani jurist

Abdul Hameed Dogar is a Pakistani jurist who served as the former Justice of Sindh High Court, before being appointed Chief Justice of Pakistan by President Pervez Musharraf, after he dismissed the superior judiciary and declared emergency rule in 2007.

Abrar Hasan

Abrar Hasan is a lawyer and constitutional expert based in Karachi, Pakistan. He is known for his arrest following a state of Emergency imposed by Pervez Musharraf, which arrested 1,500 opposition leaders including lawyers and journalists.

Events from the year 2007 in Pakistan.

Lawyers Movement

The Lawyers' Movement, also known as the Movement for the Restoration of Judiciary or the Black Coat Protests, was the popular mass protest movement initiated by the lawyers of Pakistan in response to the former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf's actions of 9 March 2007 when he unconstitutionally suspended Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as the chief justice of Pakistan's Supreme Court. Following the suspension of the chief justice, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) declared the judge's removal as an "assault on the independence of judiciary" and were backed by several political parties.

Mian Shakirullah Jan

Justice Mian Sakirullah Jan is a justice in Supreme Court of Pakistan and a former Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court.

Muhammad Javed Buttar

Moin ud Din Javed Buttar is a former justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, currently he is serving as a member of Board of Directors of National Asset Management Company Limited.

Tassaduq Hussain Jillani

Tassaduq Hussain Jillani is a Pakistani judge who served as the 21st Chief Justice of Pakistan from 2013 to 2014. He previously served as a Justice of the Supreme Court from 2004, after being nominated Justice of the Lahore High Court by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1994.

Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi

Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi is former justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and a former justice of Lahore High Court.

PCO Judges case

The Provisional Constitutional Order Judges case, refers to cases heard and decided by the Pakistan Supreme Court pertaining to the High Court and Supreme Court judges who took their oath of offices under the Provisional Constitutional Order in 2007. On 3 November 2007, then-President Pervez Musharraf declared a Provisional Constitutional Order, which declared a state of emergency and suspends the Constitution of Pakistan. Under this emergency law, all High court judges, including the Supreme Court justices, were asked to take oath under this Provisional Constitutional Order. Those who didn't were placed under effective house arrest. A seven-member bench issued a restraining order on the same day, barring the government from implementing emergency rule and urging other government officials to not help do so.

Jawwad S. Khawaja

Jawwad S. Khawaja is a Pakistani jurist, and former professor of law at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, who served as the 23rd Chief Justice of Pakistan. He was nominated for the position by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on 17 August 2015, and approved to take office by President Mamnoon Hussain on the same day.

History of the Supreme Court of Pakistan

The History of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, organised by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, follows from its constitutional establishment in 1947 till its recent events. The Supreme Court of Pakistan is the highest appellate court of the country and court of last resort— the final arbiter of the law and the Constitution.

The Federation of Pakistan v. General (R) Pervez Musharraf, informally known as the Musharraf high treason case, was a court case in which former Pakistani president and military ruler Pervez Musharraf was tried for high treason stemming from his actions on 3 November 2007 when he subverted and suspended the Constitution of Pakistan, sacking fifteen Supreme Court judges and fifty-six judges of the provincial High Courts while putting the then Chief Justice of Pakistan under house arrest. It was the first time in Pakistan's history that a former military ruler faced a trial for treason.

References

  1. Newspaper, From the (13 August 2013). "Bhagwandas as NAB chief".
  2. 1 2 Hindu judge to act as Pak Chief Justice – The Times of India 28 December 2006.
  3. 1 2 Hindu named Pakistan's Chief Justice – Rediff, 1 September 2005.
  4. "Success Despite the Odds - The Big Story News". Indiatoday.intoday.in. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  5. "'Country first, then religion'". Rediff.com. 6 April 2004. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  6. 1 2 Bhagwandas, known star of Pak judiciary DNA world
  7. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. Biography Archived 23 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine – Supreme Court of Pakistan
  9. Acting Pak CJ’s kin denied entry at Wagah, The Tribune, Chandigarh, India, 30 March 2006.
  10. 'The law is equal for everyone in Pakistan', Rediff News, India, 14 February 2006.
  11. Pakistan – Attacks on Justice 2000 – Pakistan Archived 7 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine , International Commission of Jurists, 13 August 2001.
  12. Acting Chief Justice of Pak visits Darbar Sahib Archived 15 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine , News, Govt. of Punjab, India. March 2006.
  13. Pakistan – Attacks on Justice 2002 – Pakistan Archived 7 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine – International Commission of Jurists – July–August 2002
  14. SC directs probe in girl kidnapping case Archived 12 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine Jang, July 2005
  15. SC new judicial year from 9/11 Archived 9 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine – The Nation – 10 September 2006
  16. "CNN, Musharraf wins ruling on army role".
  17. CJ Suspended, escorted home Dawn – 9 March 2007
  18. Petition in SC on Bhagwandas Dawn – 15 March 2007
  19. Bhagwandas meditating in Indian Ashram Dawn – 20 March 2007.
  20. Rana Bhagwandas takes oath as acting CJ today Archived 11 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  21. "Justice Bhagwandas appointed as chairman of Federal Public Service Commission". Defence.pk. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  22. "Daily Times". Daily Times. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  23. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. "Justice (r) Rana Bhagwandas passes away in Karachi - Pakistan". Dawn.Com. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  25. Desk, Web. "Former SC judge Rana Bhagwandas passes away in Karachi | The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  26. shivam shivam (24 February 2015). "Former Chief Justice Rana Bhagwandas of Pakistan passes away - Education Today News". Indiatoday.intoday.in. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  27. Our Correspondent. "Justice Rana Bhagwandas of Pakistan passes away". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Javaid Iqbal
Acting
Chief Justice of Pakistan
Acting

2007
Succeeded by
Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry