Islamabad - Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk Saturday administered the oath of the office to Justice (Retd) Sardar Muhammad Raza as chief election commissioner of Pakistan in a simple but dignified ceremony.

The judges of the Supreme Court, attorney general for Pakistan, officers of Election Commission of Pakistan, Federal Judicial Academy, and Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, prominent lawyers and law officers also attended the ceremony. Registrar Supreme Court Syed Tahir Shahbaz conducted the proceedings.

The parliamentary committee comprising lawmakers of Awami National Party, Muttahida Quami Movement, Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) agreed on the name of Justice Sardar Raza, which was notified by the president.

Justice Raza on December 05 had resigned as chief justice of the Federal Shariat Court after his appointment as CEC. Justice Sardar Raza Khan retired as judge of the Supreme Court in 2011. The 69-year-old Khan was among the judges of the apex court who had refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) after the imposition of emergency by then military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2007.

Justice Raza, who belongs to Abbottabad, was also a member of the bench headed by then Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry which gave a decision in the famous NRO case. He was the only member who gave a ‘partial dissenting note’.

Similarly, while hearing a petition challenging the PCO, Justice Raza was also not in favour of issuing contempt of court notices to the judges who had taken oath under the PCO.

The appointment of CEC came after the Supreme Court had warned the government that it would withdraw on December 5 its judge Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali who was working as acting chief election commissioner.