The 28th Chief Justice of Pakistan is Justice Umar Ata Bandial. On January 13, 2022, President Arif Alvi approved his appointment as Pakistan’s chief justice. * On February 2, 2022, he began serving in that capacity. On September 16, 2023, he will resign from his position as Pakistan’s top justice.
Judge Umar Ata Bandial, born in Lahore on September 17, 1958, attended elementary and secondary schools in Kohat, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, and Lahore. In 1973, he graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Rawalpindi with a Senior Cambridge diploma, and in 1975, Aitchison College awarded him a Higher Senior Cambridge diploma. He earned a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University in the United States in 1979 and a Law Tripos degree from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom in 1981.
In 1982, Judge Bandial graduated from London’s Lincoln’s Inn with a law degree. He was admitted as an advocate of the Lahore High Court and then the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the same year.
In Lahore, Justice Bandial founded his legal practice, focusing mostly on business, banking, tax, and property law issues. Judge Umar Ata Bandial handled international business issues from 1993 till his ascension. In arbitration cases, he testified before the Pakistani Supreme Court and overseas arbitral tribunals in London and Paris. He continue to be professionally involve in the Hitachi-Rupali (1998), Hubco-GoP (2000), Ghazi Barotha Contractors-WAPDA (2001), and Bayinder NHA (2001) disputes (2004).
Judge Bandial was promote to the position of Lahore High Court judge on December 4, 2004. He refuse to take the oath under PCO in November 2007. As a result of the lawyers’ and civil society campaign for the restoration of the judiciary and constitutional rule in the nation, he was reinstated as a judge of the Lahore High Court.
Justice Bandial served as a judge of the Lahore High Court and handed down decisions in several significant public and private issues. These cases include the affirmation of the autonomy and independence of the office of Chief Election Commissioner; the sanctity of the office of the President as a symbol of the unity of the Federation, necessitating its separation from political involvement and activity; the need to ensure transparency and competition in governmental licensing of Hajj Group Organizers in an Rs9.25 billion annual business; and the holding of the Lahore skyline to be public property for purposes of legal proceedings.
On January 1, 2012, Judge Bandial was name the Lahore High Court’s Chief Justice. He held that position until June 17, 2014, when he was elevate to Supreme Court of Pakistan judge.
He served as a judge of the Lahore High Court while also practicing law for four years. During that time, he also taught Contract Law at the Punjab University Law College and continued to be a member of its Graduate Studies Committee.
The public criticized Chief Justice Bandial for opening the supreme court at midnight on April 10, 2022, when Imran Khan was dismisse as Pakistan’s prime minister.
The coalition government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) criticized Chief Justice Bandial in April 2023 for not constituting a full Supreme Court and instead allowing a three-member bench to rule on the crucial subject of election delay.
The government restricted the chief justice’s authority to issue a suo motu notice on significant matters, which also refused to recognize the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding the elections in Punjab.