KARACHI: Former acting chief justice (CJ) Justice (r) Rana Bhagwandas, 72 , passed away in a local hospital of Karachi on Monday (today).
He was suffering from heart problem and had been admitted in hospital for treatment.He passed away early morning as a result of cardiac arrest. According to his family, thrice in a month he was shifted from hospital to house after the approval of doctors. Today he was again admitted to hospital in a critical situation but he passed away as a result of cardiac arrest.
Rana Bhagwandas was born on December 20, 1942 into a Hindu Sindhi Rajput family in Naseerabad, Larkana District. He studies law and received a Masters degree in Islamic studies. 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.
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. The petition was rejected, and the petitioner was condemned by other judges of the high court and by a significant number of lawyers.
In 2000, he joined the Supreme Court of Pakistan after taking an oath of allegiance to Pervez Musharraf’s administration under the PCO. Bhagwandas maintains that the law is equal for all religious communities in Pakistan.
Justice (r) Bhagwandas was the first Hindu and the third non-Muslim (after Alvin Robert Cornelius and Dorab Framrose Patel) to serve as a chief of the highest court in Pakistan. He remained the acting CJP during 2007 judicial crisis in Pakistan and also briefly became the acting CJP when the incumbent Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry went on foreign tours in 2005 and 2006.
Rana Bhagwandas worked as the Chairman of Federal Public Service Commission of Pakistan from November 2009 to December 2012. He was also Member of Selection Board of Sindh Madressatul Islam University Karachi. He was heading the interview panel for the selection of the Federal Civil Servants since 2009.
Politicians have expressed grief and sorrow over sad demise of Justice (r) Rana Bhagwan Das.
Chairman @ImranKhanPTI expressed grief over the death of Justice Rana Bhagwandas. Offered his condolences to the family of the deceased!
— PTI (@PTIofficial) February 23, 2015
Justice Bhagwan Das was a judge with excellent carrier & great repute. #PAT offers sincere condolence to family & friends of late Justice
— Dr. Raheeq Abbasi (@RaheeqAbbasi) February 23, 2015
PM has expressed grief&sorrow over sad demise of Justice(R)Bhagwan Das. He prayed that Allah Almighty may bless his soul with eternal bliss
— PML(N) [Official] (@pmln_org) February 23, 2015