Justice Khawaja takes oath as 23rd CJP
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja took oath as the 23rd Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) on Monday, succeeding Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk.
President Mamnoon Hussain swore Justice Khawaja as the new chief justice in an oath taking ceremony held at the Presidency. The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, federal ministers, members of parliament, chiefs of armed forces, lawyers and Supreme Court judges. President Mamnoon Hussain had approved the prime minister's advice to appoint Justice Khawaja as CJP on August 5.
Justice Khawaja will serve as chief justice for only 23 days as he is also due to retire on Sept 9. Upon retirement of Justice Khawaja, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali will be senior most judge of the Supreme Court.
Justice Khawaja took his oath in Urdu and he is the first judge in the history of Pakistan whose appointment order is not in English. The summary for the appointment of Justice Khawaja as the CJP was written in Urdu because of an ongoing case being heard by a bench headed by him. The case is about the promotion of Urdu, in which the federal government has assured the court that an order has been issued to make it mandatory for the president, prime minister, federal ministers and other official representatives to deliver their speeches in Urdu both inside the country and abroad.
In landmark Supreme Court ruling earlier this month that upheld the establishment of military courts in the country, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja was among the six dissenting judges, who ruled that the 21st constitutional amendment, which essentially gives legal cover to the said courts, is invalid.
Justice Jawwad Khawaja was born on September 10, 1950 in Wazirabad and obtained a degree in law from Punjab University. He started his career as an advocate of high court in 1975 and got practicing license of Supreme Court in 1985. He has also served as a visiting lecturer at the Punjab University Law College from 1975 to 1986.
Justice Khawaja also received an LLM from University of Berkeley, California and taught at Lahore University of Management Sciences (Lums) until he was appointed as the Judge of Supreme Court in 2009.
It is pertinent to mention here that Justice Khawaja was the first judge to resign in protest from the high court in March 2007 after former President Pervez Musharraf virtually suspended the then chief justice of Pakistan, Chaudhry Iftikhar, and appointed the available senior-most judge, Justice Javed Iqbal, as the acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. His resignation at the time was hailed by bars and jurists in the country.