Justice Rana Bhagwan Das, the senior most judge of the Pakistani judiciary and the only Hindu judge, was on Saturday sworn in as the acting chief justice of the Supreme Court.
Justice Das was sworn in by outgoing acting chief justice Javed Iqbal at the apex court's registry amid a boycott by the Supreme Court Bar Council.
Bar Council President Muneer Malik, who is also the lawyer of suspended Chief Justice Iftikaar Muhammed Choudhry, boycotted the proceedings saying Justice Choudhry continues to be the Chief Justice and the sppointment of any new ACJ was unconstitutional.
However, the ceremony was attended by a host of senior judges and lawyers.
Born on December 20, 1942, in Sindh, Justice Das joined the Pakistan Judicial Service in July 1967.
He was elevated to the Pakistan high court in 1994 and joined the Supreme Court in 2000.
He is considered to be an expert on constitutional law. Besides graduating in law, he has also done his masters in Islamic studies.
Justice Das is the second non-Muslim judge in Pakistan to reach the top position in the judiciary. Earlier, Justice A R Cornelius, a Christian, had served as the chief justice during 1960-68.
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf suspended chief justice Chaudhry on March 9 on charges of misconduct and misuse of authority, six years before his term was to end.
Justice Iqbal had been immediately sworn-in as the acting chief justice as Justice Das was on a visit to India.Justice Chaudhry during his appearance before the five-member Supreme Judicial Council had insisted that Justice Das be made the Acting Chief Justice.