Profile: Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial

Aamir Tariq 11:45 PM | 7 Apr, 2023
Profile: Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial
Source: Supreme Court of Pakistan

Justice Umar Ata Bandial is the 28th Chief Justice of Pakistan. President Arif Alvi approved his appointment as the chief justice of Pakistan on January 13, 2022 and he assumed his office on February 2, 2022. He will retire as the chief justice of Pakistan on September 16, 2023. 

Born on September 17, 1958 in Lahore, Justice Umar Ata Bandial received his elementary and secondary education in Kohat, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Lahore. He got his Senior Cambridge certificate in 1973 from St. Mary’s Academy, Rawalpindi and Higher Senior Cambridge certificate from Aitchison College in 1975. He secured his B.A. (Economics) degree from the Columbia University, USA, in 1979 and a Law Tripos degree from the Cambridge University, UK, in 1981. 

Justice Bandial qualified as Barrister-at-Law from Lincoln’s Inn, London, in 1982. In the same year, he was enrolled as an advocate of the Lahore High Court and later as an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. 

Justice Bandial established his law practice in Lahore, dealing mostly with commercial, banking, tax and property law matters. After 1993 until his elevation, Justice Umar Ata Bandial handled international commercial disputes. He appeared in arbitration matters before the Supreme Court of Pakistan and foreign arbitral tribunals in London and Paris. He remained professionally associated with the Hitachi-Rupali dispute (1998), the Hubco-GoP dispute (2000), the Ghazi Barotha Contractors-WAPDA dispute (2001) and the Bayinder NHA dispute (2004).

On December 4, 2004, Justice Bandial was elevated as a judge of the Lahore High Court. He refused to take oath under PCO in November 2007 and was restored as a judge of the Lahore High Court as a result of the lawyers and civil society movement for revival of the judiciary and constitutional rule in the country. 

As a judge of the Lahore High Court, Justice Bandial rendered judgments in a number of important public and private cases. 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 symbol of the unity of the Federation requiring its detachment from political involvement and activity; the necessity of ensuring transparency and competition in governmental licensing of Hajj Group Organizers in a Rs9.25 billion annual business; holding the Lahore skyline to be public property for purposes of local authority regulation of sky signs; declaring the decisions of the Council of Common Interests in the matter of Kalabagh Dam to possess sanctity and enforceability unless modified according to the Constitution; the enforcement of transparency and merit criteria for appointment of Provincial Public Prosecutors.

Justice Bandial was appointed the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court, Lahore, on January 1, 2012. He served in that office until his elevation as a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on June 17, 2014.

As an advocate, he taught Contract Law at the Punjab University Law College for four years until 1987 and remained a member of its Graduate Studies Committee whilst serving as a judge of the Lahore High Court.


Chief Justice Bandial drew criticism from the public for his decision to open the top court at midnight on April 10, 2022, the day when Imran Khan was removed as prime minister of Pakistan.

In April 2023, Chief Justice Bandial was criticised by the coalition government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for allowing a three-member bench of the Supreme Court to give verdict on the critical issue of delay in elections instead of forming a full court.

The government clipped the chief justice's powers to take suo motu notice on important issues and refused to accept the Supreme Court's judgement on elections in Punjab.

Aamir Tariq
Aamir Tariq

The writer is a staff member.


USD to PKR: Pakistani rupee remains stable against dollar as IMF talks underway

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani rupee remained stable against the US dollar as the market is looking for direction amid Pakistan’s ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Amid the economic uncertainty, the local currency remained unchanged against the greenback, moving up 0.01 percent during the opening hours of trading. Before noon, PKR was hovering at 285.40 in the interbank.

In contrast to the inter-bank, the dollar continued its upward trajectory in the open market and is reportedly available at Rs315, as the gap between the official rate and open market rate is Rs30 per dollar.

As the money market is waiting for a positive development from the economic front, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission Chief to Pakistan said they continued engagement with Islamabad focusing on the restoration of foreign exchange proper market functioning, with special on the upcoming budget.

Today's gold rates in Pakistan – May 31 2023

KARACHI - The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 232,300 on Wednesday.The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs199,160.   

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs163,624 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 190,880.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Karachi PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Islamabad PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Peshawar PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Quetta PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Sialkot PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Attock PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Gujranwala PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Jehlum PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Multan PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Bahawalpur PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Gujrat PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Nawabshah PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Chakwal PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Hyderabad PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Nowshehra PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Sargodha PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Faisalabad PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485
Mirpur PKR 232,300 PKR 2,485


Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Sign up for Newsletter