Image Source: https://bit.ly/2Y8CZSl

This article is written by Amanat Raza, a student of the Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim University. In this article, he has discussed the critical analysis of the office of the CJI, power, and removal of CJI and Supreme Court Judge, discussed NJAC, and Collegium System.

History

To better know the position, status and everything about the Chief Justice of India, we first have to know about how the concept of justice has evolved in India and who used to give that justice. With the passing of time, the method of providing justice has changed and the authority who was giving justice has also changed.

In ancient times, the principle of justice was linked with religion. Most of the Kings’ courts disbursed justice according to ‘dharma’, a set of everlasting laws rested upon the individual duty to be accomplished in four stages of life (ashrama) and status of the individual in line with his popularity or status (varna). He has become the apostle of justice and so the best decider or the highest judge in the kingdom. With the advent of British colonial administration, India witnessed a judicial system introduced on the idea of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence. Hence, now the method of justice and the person who was providing justice is changing according to the situation of the society.

With the commencement of Mayor’s Court, the story of the modern Indian judiciary begins. A Mayor’s court was established by the British East India Company under the Royal Charter of 1661. The people of two presidencies i.e., Madras and Surat were judged by the Governor-in-Council of that province. Another creation of the Mayor’s court in the presidency of Bombay, Madra, and Calcutta under the Charter Act of 1726. These newest court were of the King of England. And now the judging power of each presidency goes in the hand of the king. Till this time judiciary was suffering from lack of legal knowledge, the overburden of the executives, lack of local judges to provide justice to the citizens or the people of the presidency.

Now, it is time for the establishment of a separate authority that deals with the principle of just and provides justice to the people. In 1774, the Supreme Court of Fort Williams was established at Calcutta through the Charter Act of 1773. The Supreme Court comprises of a Chief Justice and the three judges (later on this number of judges reduced to two) who were appointed by the Crown acting as King’s Court. Sir Elijah Impey was the Chief Justice of this court. This court was embellished with the power to punish for its contempt, to try civil and criminal cases, and many more powers. Then, after the Render’s court was established followed by the Mofussil Adalat. The system of the judiciary had undergone changes beneath Lord Cornwallis in 1787, 1790, and 1793. He very well reorganized the civil and criminal justice system in Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa and introduced the principle of management or administration in step with regulation. After that, the system of providing justice has expanded and a High Court was established in 1861 through the Indian High Court Act, 1861. High Courts also consist of Chief Justice and various judges aiding him in making any decision. The Government of India Act 1935 established a Federal Court at Delhi. This court served as an immediate precursor to the cutting-edge ideal courtroom of India. It is composed of the Chief Justice and not more than six judges. It had an original, appellate, and advisory jurisdiction. The constituent assembly that was made at the time of freedom of India passed the resolution to abolish the Privy Council and because of this, the Supreme Court gets to the top of the Judiciary system in India. Generally, the Federal court that was established earlier doing the work of Supreme court from 1937 to 1950 and after that the Supreme Court as being the individual authority having top judicial power established on 28th January 1950.

Chief Justice of India

The Chief Justice of India is the head of the Indian Judiciary and the Supreme Court of India. Administrative functions are also headed by him. As the head of the Superior courtroom i.e., the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice is answerable for the allocation of instances and appointment of constitutional benches which addresses crucial subjects of law. According to Article 145 of the Constitution of India and the preferred Supreme Court Rules of Procedure of 1966, the Chief Justice allocates all work to the other judges who are bound to refer the problem lower back to him or her (for re-allocation) in any case where they require it to be looked into by means of a bigger bench of greater judges. At the administrative facet, the Chief Justice contains out the following features like protection of the roster, the appointment of courtroom officers and trendy and miscellaneous matters relating to the functioning and administration of the Supreme Court. It has been an unbroken conference for decades now, to hire the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court as the CJI. From January 1950, the year when the constitution came into effect and the supreme court came into existing, Ranjan Gogoi is the 46th CJI since 3 October 2018. He succeeded Justice Dipak Misra on 2 October 2018 and would remain in office till 17 November 2019, the day he retires on turning sixty-five years in age.

Appointment of Supreme Court Judge

How precisely are judges of the preferred court of India appointed? Does the government get a say of their appointment? These questions have seen a long and bizarre history, that noticed the Judiciary face off against what they perceived as an attempt by the executive to intrude, in order to claim their independence. Article 124 of the Constitution of India gives for the way of appointing judges to the Supreme Court. The Constitution of India under Article 124(1) states that there shall be a Supreme Court of India inclusive of a Chief Justice of India (CJI) and 30 judges. Article 124(2) of the Constitution of India states that the appointment of judges should be by the President of India. The following way listed below shows how a Supreme Court get assign:

  • Whenever a vacancy is expected to arise inside the office of a judge of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of India will initiate a proposal and forward his advice to the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs to refill the emptiness. 
  • The Chief Justice of India opined that the appointment of a judge of the Supreme Court should be formed in consultation with a collegium of the four senior-most puisne Judges of the Supreme Court. If the successor Chief Justice of India is not one of the four senior-most Judges who are sub, he would be made a part of the collegium as he ought to have a hand in the selection of Judges who will function during his term as Chief Justice of India.
  • The Chief Justice of India would determine the perspectives of the senior-most Judge in the Supreme Court, who hails from the High Court from where the individual endorsed comes, but if he does not have any expertise of his deserves and demerits, the next senior-most judge in the Supreme Court from the same High Court has to be consulted.
  • The requirement of consultation with a judge of the Supreme Court might not be limited to that judge only who has that High Court as a parent High Court, consequently, might no longer exclude Judges who have, on transfer, occupied the office of a judge or Chief Justice of the High Court.
  • The opinion of contributors of the collegium in recognizing of every of the recommendation as well as the senior-most judge in the supreme court from the high court, from which a potential candidate comes, would be made in writing and the Chief Justice of India, in all instances, have to transmit his opinion as additionally the opinion of all concerned to the Government of India as part of record. If the Chief Justice of India or the alternative member of the collegium obtains views, specifically those from the non-Judges, the consultation need not be in writing but he, who obtains the opinion, have to make a memorandum thereof and its substance in contemporary terms or in general terms which ought to be conveyed to the Government of India.
  • After the release of the concluding recommendation of the Chief Justice of India, the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs will confer the recommendations to the Prime Minister who will advocate the President in the matter of appointment.
  • As soon as the appointment is approved, the Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Justice will inform the Chief Justice of India and obtain a certificate of physical fitness signed by a Civil Surgeon or a District Medical Officer from the selected person. The Medical Certificate is to be collected from all persons who have been selected for an appointment whether they are at the time of appointment in the service of the State or not. The certificate needs to be in the form of an attachment.
  • The Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Justice will announce the appointment and issue the important notification in the Gazette of India as soon as the certificate of appointment is signed by the President.

Appointment of Chief Justice of India

Although the procedure for appointment of Chief Justice of India is not given in our Indian Constitution but there are certain conventions that are used in appointing a Chief Justice. Our constitution under Article 124(1) only talks about that there shall be a Supreme Court which consists of a Chief Justice of India. It does not talk about how a Chief Justice of India should be appointed. However, Article 126 of the Indian Constitution, which talks about the appointment of an acting Chief Justice of India, is somewhat close to the appointment of Chief Justice of India. The following convention for the appointment of Chief Justice of India is given as follows:

  1. There is a Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) between the government and the judiciary, which talks about the procedure to select or appoint the next Chief Justice of India.
  2. The senior-most judge of the Supreme Court who was considered fit for the post of Chief Justice of India should be appointed at this post. The Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs should ask the recommendation of the outgoing Chief Justice of India for the appointment of the next Chief Justice at his place. The Ministry can ask for recommendations at the time near the retirement of the previous judge.
  3. Whenever there is any doubt about the fitness of senior-most Judge or it is found that he is not fit for holding the office of Chief Justice of India, then as prescribed under Article 124(2) of the Indian Constitution that there should be consultation with senior judge of the same court for appointment of a new judge at the post of Chief Justice of India.
  4. After the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs got the receipt of the recommendation for the post of Chief Justice of India, he will put up that recommendation to the Prime Minister who then advises the President in the matter of appointment for that post.
  5. Then the President administers an oath of office to the new Chief Justice of India.

Does the government have the power to interfere in the appointment of Chief Justice of India?

The government does not have any say in the appointment of the Chief Justice of India except for the Law Minister who has the power to take the recommendation of the required CJI and forward it to the Prime Minister.

What is the difference between the appointment of a Supreme Court Judge and a Chief Justice of India?

The main difference between the appointment of a CJI and a Supreme Court Judge is that in appointing a CJI the government cannot send the recommendation of CJI back for later consideration but in the case of Supreme Court judge appointment the government can send the recommendation for later consideration.

  • Since the establishment of Supreme Court in 1950, the procedure mentioned above for appointing a Chief Justice of India has been followed till now except in the appointment of two Judge i.e., Justice AN Ray and Justice MH Beg. These exceptions took place when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India.

NJAC

The NJAC also pronounced as the National Judicial Appointment Council was introduced through the National Judicial Commission Act, 2014. Through this one new Article has been added in the Indian Constitution as Article 124A. This Article talks about that there shall be National Judicial Appointment Commission which consists of Chief Justice of India, two senior-most judges of Supreme Court, Union Minister of Law and Justice, and two other eminent person nominated by a committee consisting of Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and if no such a leader is there then the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha. NJAC Act regulates the procedure which NJAC has to follow for recommending the appointment of a Supreme Court Judge and High Court Judges along with their transfer.

Background of NJAC

Earlier, the appointment of Judges and their transfer had to be made in accordance with Article 124, 217 and 222 of the Indian Constitution. Before the NJAC, the appointment and transfer of judges were to be made by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice and other Judges. The collegium system of appointing and transfer of a judge was fully established by the three constitutional cases which we refer to as the judges cases. There are three judges cases which help the collegium to take stronghold in appointment and transfer of judges. But, because of the several defects and drawbacks in this system of appointing a new system has emerged which we called as NJAC through the Constitutional (Ninety-Ninth Amendment) Act, 2014. The Supreme Court with a majority of 4-1 has declared this amendment as void and unconstitutional after one year of its establishment. This ruling was given by five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice JS Khehar on a petition filed by Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association and others. The Court held that the integrity and importance of the judiciary is the ‘Highest Importance’ not only to the judge but to the citizens who seek resort from the court of law.

The three judges cases that confirm the stronghold of collegium system in appointing a judge are:

  1. S.P. Gupta v. Union of India [1] also known as the First Judges Case: In this case, the court ruled that the opinion of Chief Justice is not Primacy and the Union Government is not bound to act in accordance with the opinion of constitution functionaries.
  2. Advocates on Records v. Union of India [2] also known as the Second Judges Case: in this case, the decision of the first judge case was overruled by the nine-judge bench who held that in the matter of disagreement in the process of consultation, the viewpoint of the judiciary will be primal. This verdict also gives birth to the Collegium System.
  3. Third judges case [3]: In this case, it has been held by the court that the collegium should be expanded which includes Chief Justice of India and four most senior judge of the Supreme Court after CJI.

Procedure for selection of a Supreme Court Judge by NJAC

  1. The NJAC shall recommend the name of senior most judge of the Supreme Court to hold the post of Chief Justice of India, provided that he is fit for the post.
  2. The NJAC shall recommend names on the basis of merit, ability and other criteria specified in the regulation.
  3. The NJAC shall not recommend an appointment if any of the two members is not agreed with the names recommended.

NJAC v/s Collegium

To know which is better from the NJAC and the Collegium System, firstly, we have to know about the pros and cons of these two systems.

Pros of NJAC and Collegium System

NJAC 

Collegium System

  1. In NJAC, members have veto power.
  1. This system of appointing judges is free from the interference of political authority. This is the way of making the judiciary independent.

2. It consists of three members of the judiciary and three members outside the judiciary which shows the transparency in appointing a judge. No judge can favor his or her candidates.

2. It upholds the seniority of candidates and abides by the principle of separation of power in the Indian Constitution.

3. The collegium system does not provide adequate tenure for Chief Justice of the High Court. The process of consultation is secretive and unknown to the common public so when a meritorious candidate from the Bar is denied of opportunity the reason of denying is undisclosed.

3. It minimizes the interference of the executive in dispensing of the justice system. It is so because the judicially trained mind has the ability to search for who are capable in law to become a judge of the court.

   

 

Cons of NJAC and Collegium System

 

NJAC

Collegium System

  1. NJAC would endanger the independence of the judiciary system given by the collegium system.
  1. Collegium system was not proposed by the Indian Constitution. It has evolved from the two Supreme Court judgment.

2. This commission was against the basic structure of our constitution.

2. From Article 217 of the Indian Constitution, it can be concluded that the executive is empowered to appoint a judge in consultation with the judiciary. So it is not following the constitution properly.

3. NJAC has not laid down an objective procedure for the appointment of a judge.

3. On the constitutional ground, it has been criticized by the 214th law commission.

 

From the pros and cons of both the system, it can be concluded that none of the two systems of appointing the president is best. Although many of the judges have said that the Collegium system is better than the NJAC but still there is some loophole in this system which needs to be full. The NJAC bill was passed by the government in a hurry. I don’t know why they were in a hurry while passing this act as this act does not stand to prove essential for the appointment.

Removal of Supreme Court Judges

The judges of the Supreme Court can be removed by the order of President of India. Judges Inquiry Act of 1968 regulates the procedure related to the removal of judges of the Supreme Court by the process of impeachment. An impeachment motion can be initiated in either of the houses. These procedures are as follows:

  1. To initiate the proceeding of impeachment initially two conditions need to be followed:
  1. i) at least 100 members of the Lok Sabha give notice to the speaker signed by them.
  2. ii) at least 50 members of the Rajya Sabha give a signed notice to the chairman

After consulting with the individuals, the speaker or the chairman will decide either to admit the motion or to refuse it.

  1. Now, if the motion is admitted then the speaker or the chairman who receive the motion will form a three-member committee which consists of a Supreme Court Judge, Chief Justice of High Court and a distinguished jurist to look into the complaint. The same committee will frame a charge on the basis of that investigation and then one copy of the charge will be forwarded to the justice on whom the complaint has been filed for presenting a written defense.
  2. After the investigation is concluded, then the committee will submit its report to the speaker or the chairman, who then lay this report to the relevant house of Parliament. If the reports record a finding of misbehavior or incapacity then the motion for removal will be taken up in consideration and then they debated on this matter.
  3. The motion for removal is required to be adopted by both the Houses of Parliament by certain special majority i.e., (i) there should be a majority of the total membership of that House; and (ii) there should be a majority of at least two-thirds of the members of the House present and voting. If the same majority is gained, then the motion is sent to the other house for adoption.
  4. Once the motion is adopted in both the house, it is sent to the President and now President will issue an order for the removal of judges.

Removal of Chief Justice of India

A person appointed as Chief Justice of India or any other judge of a Supreme Court can be removed from his office on the ground of “proved misbehavior or incapacity.” The criteria to remove a Supreme Court judge is same for removing a Chief Justice of India. Article 124(4) of the Indian Constitution states: “A judge of the Supreme Court can not be removed from his office until and unless the President passed an order for removal of CJI or any judge of the Supreme Court on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity.”

 

Name of the judges on whom the impeachment proceedings were initiated

    1. Justice V. Ramaswami was the first judge against whom the proceeding of impeachment was initiated. He was caught in a controversy that he was spending too much on his office residence during his tenure as the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court during 1990. But when the motion brought in the Lok Sabha, it failed to secure two- thirds of the majority due to this reason it seems dubious that it is the first case of impeachment against a judge.

 

  • Justice Soumitra Sen was the judge of the Calcutta High Court who resigns from his post before he could become the first person to be impeached during his tenure. He found guilty of misappropriating Rs.33.23 lakhs under his custody as a court-appointed receiver when he was a lawyer.
  • Justice P. D. Dinakaran  of the Sikkim High Court resigned in July 2011 before his impeachment proceeding. He was having charges of Corruption, land grab and abuse of judicial office.
  • Justice J.B. Pardiwala of the Gujarat High Court impeached in the year 2015. A group of 58 Rajya Sabha MPs moved an impeachment notice against him on the ground that he has said something wrong about the reservation. He has said that if he were asked to name two things which stopped India to progress in the right direction. He will take the name of ‘reservation’ and ‘corruption’. The MPs said that he comment on the reservation of Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Cast while giving a ruling in case against Patidar leader Hardik Patel. He has given the same statement that Dr. B. R. Ambedkar has said about the reservation. He has said that while giving reservation it was estimated that it will only for 10 years after Independence but today in India it is still prevailing.

 

Recently, a case of allegation against Chief Justice of India was in news which was considered a threat to the judiciary by the Chief Justice. CJI was accused of sexual harassment and abuse of power by former Supreme Court staffer. There is a panel appointed by the Supreme Court who found that there is nothing which shows the allegation is true. The committee was set up for in house inquiry. The investigation raised the credibility of the judiciary. It has been said about this case that it was the only case in which justice is not delivering justice. This allegation was raised because there was no male judge in the panel but after that Justice Indu Malhotra was appointed instead of N. V. Ramana. The allegation that was made against the CJI was cleared and he was found not guilty of sexual abuse.

There is a maxim which Supreme Court always tells us i.e., Fiat justitia ruat caelum’ which means ‘let justice be done through the heaven fall’. The same Supreme Court has stopped a lawyer to file a complaint. While staying on the transparency, the court repeatedly said that ‘sunlight is the best disinfectant’. But the same court has refused to make its final report to the public. In doing so that is working against its own statement, the Supreme Court has laid down the meaning of Judiciary down in the eyes of the people who thinks it as the supreme authority of justice or who has faith in it. For years citizens and lawyers looked up the judiciary as the protector of the constitution but because of certain activities happening in India lowering faith in the Judicial System. If the Judge would do that kind of mistake then who would be the protector of our Constitutional Fundamental rights. These judges who were impeached have done mistake that he has to not do while sitting on the post of a judge. The same thing is happening with our country judge nowadays as well. Case of sexual harassment on Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi.

Powers of Chief Justice of India

It has been often said that the Chief Justice of India having a powerful position within the judiciary of India. The Constitution of India clearly lays down the broad power of Chief Justice of India. These powers are:

  1. The President of India and the Governor of every state are sworn in by the Chief Justice of India.
  2. The President must have to consult with CJI for appointing a judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court.
  3. Article 127 of the Indian Constitution gives CJI the power to appoint ad hoc Supreme Court judges.
  4. Article 128 gives the power to the CJI to appoint the retired judges at the sitting of the Supreme court with the approval of the President.
  5. Article 130 talks about that power of CJI under which it can sit the Supreme court outside the Delhi after the approval of the president.
  6. Article 146 gives the power to appoint the officers and servant of the court.
  7. Article 222 give CJI the power to transfer the High Court judges.
  8. Article 257, 258 and 290 gives the power to the CJI to resolve certain type of financial dispute which arises between the Centre and the States by appointing an arbitrator.
  9. He has the power to punish for contempt of court whether it is civil or criminal.
  10. He is having the power of Judicial Review.
  11. He has the authority to examine the conduct and behaviour of UPSC members.

The Chief Justice of India has also got some powers which are not mentioned in the Constitution. These are the additional power which they get from either judicial decision or judicial practices. These are:

  1. He has the power to appoint justice for different benches.
  2. Most letter of PILs goes for first round of filtering at the office of Chief Justice and then it goes for a second round filtering to the Registrar’s PIL office. In this process, the office of CJI is the only place of justice that will come in contact with these letter of a petition before the go the PILs office.
  3. Has the power to decide which and when the cases to be heard.
  4. He is also having the power as ‘Master of the Roster’. The power that are associated with this title are: (i) only the Chief Justice of India has got the right to direct the formation of a bench to hear any case. (ii) the Chief Justice of India has the power to allocate cases to the judge, in other words, we can also say that he has the power to decide which judge hears which case and when. (iii) the exclusive domain of the Chief Justice of India includes the Roaster of the Supreme Court.

Why it has been confirmed that the Chief Justice of India has the power as Master Roster?

On 12 January 2018 four senior judges of the Supreme Court held a press conference in which they have said that the situation in the court is not in order as it has to be. Why they have said this? They have raised the issue of “allocation of case by the CJI”. This was the mysterious death of special CBI judge BH Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. They have written in seven-page letter to the CJI that Chief Justice is only first among equals. The petition against the backdrop of the press conference filed in the supreme court challenging the sole authority of the Chief Justice of India to roaster of judges for allocation of cases in the apex court. The Supreme Court while hearing the PIL, held that CJI is the master of roaster and alone has the power to allocate cases.

Critical analysis of the office

The most overworked constitutional functionaries in India is the Chief Justice of India. There are almost 59,695 cases are pending in the Supreme Court which is of civil as well as a criminal matter. Some are writ petition on a constitutional issue. This number of pending cases are of Supreme Court but, we don’t know how many of the cases are pending in different High Courts and Districts court. It might be more than that of Supreme Court cases. The Chief Justice of India has got the sole privilege or power to decide which cases to be solved by forming a bench or which cases can be solved without forming the bench or by disposing the case by listening. Which case should be given priority to solve first was different by different Chief Justice. For example, some Chief Justice created special bench to hear criminal cases while others focus on tax and commercial cases because of their important revenues implication. The Chief Justice of India has also got the power to decide which cases should be given to larger bench to hear cases of Constitutional importance. Here, even different consideration influence different justice as we can see the matter of 2016. To hear the petition on privacy a nine-judge bench has not been created on repeated request of petitioner but, during the same period a nine-judge bench was constituted to hear on the Constitutionality of levy of entry taxes.

Apart from handling the pending cases every Chief Justice of India has to look after a number of thousand cases filed in the Supreme Court every month. Majority of the cases initially got disposed off without giving it too much importance as it is filed by the litigators only to try their luck. However,  these cases get combined with the backlog cases of the court until they are disposed off. It is on the Chief Justice of India discretion which cases should be given how much time to tackle.

Providing fairly justice to the citizens

There are complex and heterogeneous responsibilities of Chief Justice of India. Interestingly, this responsibility is a matter of convention which concentrate the power in one Individual. The Second Judges and the Third Judges cases through which a collegium was established the court marked the importance of diffusion of power and of intra-court consultation. There is a strong reason why a collegium has introduced. It should be understood as the way Chief Justice of India dispense or exercise their powers substantially affects how the Supreme Court dispense justice and thus it should not depend on one individual because it is believed that the individual might misuse that power. However, loss of credibility during the CJI Dipak Misra’s term is still recovering and it need more new solution to recover. And it will be best if those solutions were worked out as an institution rather than an individual. The diffusion of administrative power is key to give justice fairly. So, one can be satisfied by NJAC as it has included the administrator in choosing the judge of a court. Also it gives a kind of transparency that the citizens want to know everything about judiciary. 

List of Chief Justices

 

 

Chief Justice of India

Important notes about these Justice 

1.

H. J. Kania

(26 January 1950 to 6 November 1951)

1. After the India get republic Justice Harilal Jekisundas Kania was the first Chief Justice of India.

2. Dr. Rajendra Prasad has appointed him who was the President of India at that time.

3. In 1930 he became the acting judge in Bombay High Court after that he was appointed at the post of  Additional Judge and serve at this post from June 1931 to March 1933.

4. On 14 August 1947, he succeeded the then head of the Federal Court, Patrick Spens.

5.  In 1951, at the age of 61, H.J. Kania died due to a heart attack in his office.

2.

M. Patanjali Sastri – 16 November 1951 to 3 January 1954 ( until he got retired from the post)

  1. He was the second Chief Justice of India. Appointed by the then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad 

2. Got appointed as the Chief justice from the Madras High Court Bar Association..

3. When Sastri worked in the bench of Madras High Court, he used to deal with complicated cases along with the British judge who served in the Indian Civil Service whose name was Sidney Wadsworth. These cases that they dealt with were followed after passing of Madras Agriculture Debt Relief Act.

4. He became the first Tamil person to reach at the post of Chief Justice of India.

3.

Mehr Chand Mahajan – 4 January 1954 to 22 December 1954  (until he got retired from the post)

  1. Justice Mahajan was appointed by the President of India of that time who was a very famous man or the lawyer of that time. He is Dr. Rajendra Prasad and he appointed Mehr Chand as the third Chief Justice of India.
  2. This man was elected as the Chief Justice of India from the Punjab and Haryana Bar.
  3. The Radcliff Commission, who have decided the boundaries of India and Pakistan welcome him as the nominee of  Indian National Congress. 
  4. During the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh, Mehr Chand became the Prime Minister of Jammu & Kashmir and in the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India he also played a key role.
  5. After the independence of India Mehr Chand served as the first Judge of Supreme Court from 4 October, 1948 to 3 January, 1954.

4.

Bijan Kumar Mukherjea

(23 December, 1954 to 31 January, 1956)

  1. Bijan Kumar Mukherjea became the fourth Chief Justice of India and he took his oath under the office of Dr. Rajendra Prasad who was  the President of India at that time.
  2. Calcutta High Court Bar gave his name for the post of Chief Justice of India and he was elected as the CJI
  3. Initially, Bijan joined the Calcutta bar as a Junior Government Pleader in 1914 and after that he was appointed as the Senior Government pleader in 1934 then he appointed at the post of Judge in 1396 at  the Calcutta High Court.
  4. Bengal Boundary Commission has also made him as its member.

5.

Sudhi Ranjan Das

(1 February, 1956 to 30 September, 1959)

  1. Justice Sudhi Ranjan Das was appointed as fifth Chief Justice of India and took the oath for his office under the First President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
  2. In 1942 he was appointed at the post Additional Judge of Calcutta High Court and then in 1944 he became as the permanent Judge of Calcutta High Court.
  3. He served as the Chief Justice of Punjab High Court for two consecutive years that is from 1949 to 1950.
  4. Before some days of commencement of a new Constitution which has been made by known and intellectual personality of that time, he was appointed at the post of Chief Justice of India in the Supreme Court in 1950.
  5. Before appointing as the Chief Justice of India he had held at the office of Acting Chief Justice of India twice.
  6. He has been at the post of Chief Justice of India for over three years and retire on September 30, 1959.

6.

Bhuvaneshwar Prasad Sinha (1 October, 1959 to 31 January, 1964)

  1. Justice Bhuvaneshwar Prasad Sinha was the Sixth Chief Justice of India appointed from  the Patna High Court Bench. He got appointed at this post by the then President of India.
  2. From April 1965 to February 1967 he also served as President of Bharat Scouts and Guides.
  3. From 1922 to 1927 i.e., approx four years he worked as a lawyer in the Patna High Court then from 1927 onwards he worked as an advocate till 1935 during these years he was also lectured at Government Law College, Patna.
  4. He was a member of the Faculty of Law and of the Board Of Examiners in Law in Patna University and also was a member of Banaras Hindu University.
  5. From 1935 to 1939 he worked as a Government Pleader and he was also been at the post of Assistant Government Advocate from 1940 to 1942
  6. He was appointed at the post of Judge of Patna High Court and serve this office from 1943 to 1951, then he was appointed as the Chief Justice of Nagpur High Court and serve this office from 1951 to 1954.
  7. After that in 1954 he was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court and serve at this post for six years then after that he was elevated at the post of Chief Justice of India and on 31st january 1964 he got retired from this post.

7.

P. B. Gajendragadkar

(1 February 1964- 15 March 1966)

  1. Justice P. B. Gajendragadkar served as the seventh Chief Justice of India hold his office under the presidentship of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who was elected as the second President of India. On the birthday of this president we celebrate teachers day.
  2. From  Bombay High Court Bar and Bench he was elected at the post of Chief Justice of India.
  3. He served as the Judge of Bombay High Court for twelve years from 1945 to 1957 and after that he got appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India in 1957. Then he got elevated from the post of judge and became Chief Justice of India. 
  4. He became Vice Chancellor of the University of Mumbai in 1961 after his retirement from the post of Chief Justice of India.
  5. He was the awardee of Padma Vibhushan which he got from the Government of India.

8.

Amal Kumar Sarkar

(16 March 1966- 29 June 1966)

  1. Justice Amal Kumar Sarkar was the eighth Chief Justice of India who held this office after he got elected from the Bar and Bench of the Calcutta High Court. He took the oath of his office under the presidentship of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
  2. In his initial stage he started as a practice advocate and joined the Calcutta High Court to practice.
  3. After that he became a Judge of the Calcutta High Court in 1949 and till march 1957 he went on to practise.

9.

Koka Subba Rao

(30 June 1966 to 11 June 1967)

  1. Justice Koka Subba Rao was ninth Chief Justice in the list of the Supreme Court judge to hold this office of Chief Justice of India.
  2. He was appointed at the office of Chief Justice of India by the then President of India Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. He was got elevated at this from the Bar Council of the Madras High Court.
  3.  Initially, he was appointed as a District Munsif in Bapatla, a small district of Guntur.
  4. He was appointed as the first Chancellor of Sri Venkateswara University and he remained at the position of Chancellor until the University Act has not been amended. After this amendment other person had succeeded him at the post of Chancellor.
  5. He became a Judge in the Supreme Court after 31 January 1958. Before this post he was holding the office of Judge as well as Chief Justice in the Madras High Court.
  6. In his most famous case of Golaknath v. State Of Punjab,  he had given the judgement that Fundamental rights which we have got from the Constitution of India cannot be amended.
  7. Judgment: (i) If the Article 245, 246, and 248 read with entry 97 of the List 1 then the power to amend the Constitution is found in Article 368. (ii) The fundamental rights that are guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution can not be taken away or bridge through this amendment. (iii) the amending law is also a law within the meaning of Article 13(2) of the Indian Constitution,                                     
  8. The theory in the judgment was overruled by the Doctrine Of Prospective, the decision given by him will have the only possible operation and  there is no rights conferred on the Parliament to abridge Fundamental Rights from the date of Judgement.

10.

Kailas Nath Wanchoo (12 April 1967 to 24 February 1968)

  1. Justice Kailas Nath Wanchoo was the tenth Chief Justice of India who was appointed by the President Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. He was elevated to the post of Chief Justice of India from the Bar of Allahabad High Court.
  2. He was appointed at the post of judge in Allahabad High Court and holds the office from February 1947 to January 1951. After that he was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court and serve the office from 1951 to 1958. 
  3. He had also held various positions. He was holding the position of Chairman in Uttar Pradesh Judicial Reform Committee Chairman from 1950 to 1951. In Indore Firing Inquiry Commission he was appointed as a sole member in 1954.  He became the Law Commission Member in the year 1955 and also became the chairman of the commission that was made in the Dholpur Succession Case in the year 1955.
  4. Kailash Wanchoo with Justice K Subbarao have also delivered Judgement in the case of Golaknath as a Judge.

11.

Mohammad Hidayatullah

(12 April 1967- 24 February 1968)

  1. Hidayatullah was considered as one man army who was having many skills such as he is regarded as an eminent jurist, lawyer, scholar, educationist, author and linguist person.
  2. Mohammad Hidayatullah was the eleventh Chief Justice of India and was appointed by Zakir Hussain at this post who was the third President of India. He was elevated at this post from the Bar of Bombay High Court.
  3. He was also served the office Vice-President of India by becoming sixth Vice President of India and served from 31 August 1979 to 30 August 1984. He had also held the post of acting President of India twice from 20 July 1969 to 24 August 1969 and from 6 October 1982 to 31 October 1982.
  4. He has given a number of landmark Judgements after becoming part of the Supreme Court for a long tenure. His has given judgment for the two most famous case i.e., Golaknath and Ranjit D. Udeshi. These cases which dealt with the law of obscenity had displayed a flair for literature which was not so common among judges in that time. 
  5. In 2003, a law university was established in his hometown, Raipur whose name was Hidayatullah National Law University and a national moot is organized by Chhattisgarh University every year in Chhattisgarh in his memory known as ‘Justice Hidayatullah Memorial National Moot Court Competition’.
  6. He was honored with various awards and had also written many books. 
  7. He was a member of various committees, councils, and trust etc. for example in Nagpur Municipal Committee he was member from 1932 to 1933, as an Academic and Executive Council he became the member of Nagpur University from 1934 to 1953, and he became a member of Nagpur Improvement Trust from 1943 to 1945 in addition to this he also hold a position in Member of Nagpur Bar Council from 1943 to 1946.
  8. He took teaching as a profession in 1935 and taught at University College Of Law until 1943, and after that he served as Dean in the faculty of law, Nagpur University from 1949 to 1953. In addition, he also served as Pro-Chancellor in many other University like in Delhi University, Also became Chancellor in Jamia Millia Islamia and Chancellor of Hyderabad University. He had became the president of three big institutions. From 1963 to 1970 he had been at the post of President in the Indian Law Institute, From 1968 to 1970 he was appointed at the post of President in the International Law Association and also became President of the Indian Society in International Law from 1969 to 1970.

12.

Jayantilal Chhotalal Shah

(17 December 1970 to 21 January 1971)

  1. Justice Jayantilal Shah was the twelfth Chief Justice of India who served this office from 17 December 1970 to 21 January 1971 and he was appointed by Varahagiri Venkata Giri by the then President of India. He got elevated at the post of Chief Justice of India from Bombay High Court Bar. 
  2. There was a Commission set up by the Central Government under the Commission of Inquiry Act 1952 which was headed by Jayantilal Shah after his retirement and this Committee was known as the Shah Committee. 
  3. Shah was a practicing lawyer in  the court of Allahabad, after that he moved to the Bombay High Court and there he became a judge and serve under the post of Judge  for 10 years from 1949, then he was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court in October, 1959 and then appointed at the post of Chief Justice of India in December, 1970.
  4. In Gandhi Assassination Case he was also a part of the legal team who prosecuted Nathuram Godse and other defendants.

13.

Sarv Mittra Sikri (22 January 1971 to 25 April 1973)

  1. Justice S.M. Sikri was the thirteenth Chief Justice of India who hold this office and he was appointed at this office by the President  V.V. Giri. He was elevated at this post from the Bar of Lahore High Court. 
  2. In 1930, from Lahore High Court he started his legal career as a practitioner. Then, he served the office of Assistant Advocate General in Punjab High Court in 1949 and was elevated at the post of Advocate General in the same court in 1951 and serve this office for thirteen years.
  3. In January 1971 he became the Chief Justice of India before appointment of this post to him he served as the Judge of the Supreme Court of India.
  4. Landmark Judgement: He had given judgment in famous case of Kesavananda Bharati Sripadagalvaru and Ors v. State of Kerala and Anr. Justice S. M. Sikri has also fought for the freedom of the individual and also held that this freedom needs to be preserved. The Fundamental Rights that is given in Part III of the Constitution of India cannot be taken by anyone, though there were some reasonable consideration of those rights and these could be affected. He laid down the principle of ‘Doctrine of Basic Structure’ which stated that if  any amendment is to be done in the Constitution then it should follow the basic objectives of the Constitution and this basic structure could not be harmed.  

14.

Ajit Nath Ray

(26 April 1973 to 27 January 1977)

  1. He was the fourteenth Chief Justice of India and was appointed by the President V.V. Giri. He was appointed to this post from the Bar of Calcutta High Court.
  2. A.N Ray appointment day as Chief Justice of India was called as the blackest day in Indian democracy because his appointment was the most controversial one as this appointment has done after superseding the three senior-most Judges. The protest against the appointment of A.N Ray  at the post of Chief Justice of India continued for many months.

15.

Mirza Hameedullah Beg (28 January 1977 to 21 February 1978)

  1. He was the fifteen Chief Justice of India appointed by the then President of India Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. He was elevated to the post of Chief Justice of India from the Bar of Allahabad High Court.
  2. Before his appointment at the post of the Chief Justice of India, he served as the  Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court in January 1971.
  3. Landmark Judgement: (i) In case of Habeas Corpus M.H. Beg was also involved. After that Beg had also served as the chairman of the Minorities Commission of India from 1981 to 1988.

16.

Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud

(22 February 1978- 11 July 1985)

  1. Justice Y V Chandrachud was the sixteenth Chief Justice of India and was appointed by the President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy. He was elevated to the post of Chief Justice of India from the Bar of Bombay High Court.
  2. Notable Judgement: (i) He has given judgment in a famous case of Habeas Corpus during Emergency period from 1975 to 1977 at the time of Indira Gandhi.

(ii) Minerva Mills Case, earlier this case there was no classification in the interpretation of Doctrine of Basic Structure but through this case now the SC provided clarification on the interpretation of Doctrine of Basic Structure. The Parliament has no power to exercise its limit beyond the constitution.

(iii) Shah Bano Case, in this case the Supreme Court invoked a provision of CrPC in the year 1973 because they wanted an order to be secular for maintenance compensation to those Muslim women who have been divorced. Due to this case the government of Rajiv Gandhi had to pass Muslim Women Act, 1986 with a great majority.

17.

Prafullachandra Natwarlal Bhagwati

(12 July 1975 to 20 December 1986)

  1. Justice Bhagwati was appointed as the seventeenth Chief Justice of India by the President Gyani Zail Singha and was elevated at the post of Chief Justice of India from the Gujarat High Court.
  2. He along with Justice Krishna J. Iyer  was the person behind the introduction of Judicial Activism or they can be called as the pioneer of Judicial Activism because the concept of Public Interest Litigation and Absolute Liability in India that was introduced by him somewhat related to Judicial Activism or it can be also said that these are the roots of Judicial Activism.
  3. He was appointed at the post of Judge in Gujarat High Court Judge in the year 1960 and was elevated at the post of Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court in 1967. He was also appointed at the post of Governor in Gujarat. He was appointed as judge of Supreme Court in 1973 and got elevated at the post of Chief Justice of India  after some time.
  4. Notable Judgement: (i) During the emergency period he faced criticism by giving judgment in ADM Jabalpur v. Shivkant Shukla case. He supported the Government of Indira Gandhi which was opposed by the people and also Justice Hans Raj.

(ii) Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India: In this  case Maneka Gandhi was requested to return passport within seven days in “public interest” from a Regional Passport Office through an official letter.  Maneka Gandhi filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court under Article 21 of the Constitution of India which says that no person is deprived of the right to life and personal liberty.

18.

Raghunandan Swarup Pathak

(21 December to 18 June 1989)

  1. He was appointed as the eighteenth Chief Justice of India under this office by the President Gyani Zail Singh and was elevated at this post from the Bar of Allahabad High Court.
  2. He was one of the Judge among the four judges of India who have been appointed in the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
  3. In 1962 he was appointed at the office of Judge in Allahabad High Court, then in 1972 he became the Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh Court, and in the year 1978 he became the Judge of Supreme Court 1978.
  4. He was appointed as a judge to hear the case of Bhopal Gas Tragedy that took place in the year 1984. He made settlement between the Government of India and Union Carbide Corporation after the british judge has refer this case to the Indian Court.

19.

Engalaguppe Seetharamaiah Venkataramani

(19 June 1989 to 25 September 1990)

  1. He was appointed as the nineteenth Chief Justice of India by the President Venkataraman  and was earlier working in the Karnataka High Court Bar and got elevated to the post of Chief Justice of India.
  2. He was appointed as the Judge of Karnataka High Court in 1970, after that he became the Judge of Supreme Court and also became the first person to be elected from Karnataka at the post of Chief Justice of India.
  3. The Collegium of Judges have nominated him for the post of CJI.

 

20.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

(18 December 1989 to 25 September 1990)

  1. Sabyasachi Mukherjee was appointed as twentieth Chief Justice of India by the President of India Shri. Venkataraman and got elected at this post from the Calcutta High Court.
  2. In 1963 he served as acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court.
  3. He also became a member of the 8th Finance Commission and worked for it.

21.

Ranganath Misra (26 September 1990 to 24 November 1991)

  1. Justice Ranganath Misra was the twenty-first Chief Justice of India appointed by the then President of India Shri Venkataraman and got elevated at this position from the Bar of Odisha High Court.
  2. He was appointed as Governor of Odisha in 1963 and served this office for three years and also became the first Chairman of the National Human Right Commission.
  3. He was also serve as the acting Chief Justice of the Odisha High Court and later on he became permanent Chief Justice of the Odisha High Court.
  4. He became a judge of the Supreme Court of India in the Year 1983 and became Chief Justice of India later on.

22.

Kamal Narain Singh

(25 November 1991 to 12 December 1991)

  1. He was appointed as twenty-second Chief Justice of India by the then President of India Venkataraman and got elevated at this post from the Bar of  Allahabad High Court.
  2. In 1970 he was appointed as Additional Judge of the Allahabad High Court and in the year 1972 he became Permanent Judge of the Allahabad High Court. In 1861 he  appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India and later on in the year 1991 he was appointed at the post of Chief Justice of India.

23.

Madhukar Hiralal Kania

(13 December 1991 to 17 November 1992)

  1. Justice Hiralal Kania appointed as twenty-third Chief Justice of India by the President of India Shri Venkataraman and was elevated at this post from the Bombay High Court.
  2. He was appointed as Judge of the Bombay High Court in 1971, and appointed as the Judge of Supreme Court in 1987 and served on this post for four years. Later on, in the year 1991 he became the Chief Justice of India.

24.

Lalit Mohan Sharma

(18 November to 11 February 1993)

  1. Lalit Mohan Sharma was appointed as the twenty-fourth Chief Justice of India and was appointed by  the then President of India Shri Shankar Dayal. He got elevated at this post from the Bar of Patna High Court.
  2. He became a judge of the Patna High Court in the year 1973 and serving at this post for fourteen years he was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of India in the year 1987.

25.

Manepalli Narayana Rao Venkatachaliah

(12 February 1993 to 24 October 1994)

  1. Justice Narayana Rao Venkatachaliah was the twenty-fifth Chief Justice of India and appointed at this post by the then President of India Shri Shankar Dayal. He got elevated to the post of CJI from THE Bar of Karnataka High Court.
  2. He was bestowed many honored like Padma Vibhushan given by the Government of India, and many Doctorate degree from the University known as Rani Channamma University such as Doctor of letters, Doctor of Laws and Honorary Doctorate.
  3. He served as the chairman of National Human Rights Commission and headed National Commission for reviewing the working of the constitution. 
  4. He was appointed as permanent Judge of Karnataka High Court and then in 1987 was elevated as Judge of SC.

26.

Aziz Mushabber Ahmadi

(25 October 1994 to 24 March 1997)

  1. Justice Aziz Mushabber Ahmadi was appointed by the President of India named  Shankar Dayal Sharma at the post of Chief Justice of India and was twenty-sixth CJI. He was elevated to the post of CJI from the Bar of Gujarat High Court.
  2. He served as the Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and also been appointed at the post of Judge at the Gujarat High Court. Later on, in 1988 he was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India.
  3. In 1995 he has attain Foreign recognition and became a member of the American Inn of Laws, He was nominated for various International Committees such as Committees on Human Rights Violation in East Timor, Committee to assist the Judiciary in Liberia and got a degree in Doctor of Laws conferred by a recognized University in England.

27.

Jagdish Sharan Verma

(25 March 1997 to 17 January 1998)

  1. Justice Jagdish Sharan Verma was appointed as twenty-seventh Chief Justice of India by the then President of India Shri Shankar Dayal Sharma. He was elected at this post from the Bar of  Madhya Pradesh High Court.
  2. In June 1972 he was appointed as the Judge of Madhya Pradesh High Court and also in September 1986 he served as Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court. Also acted or worked at the office of Governor of Rajasthan twice. First time in the year 1986 and second time he serve in the year 1989.
  3. He delivered a judgment regarding the Juvenile that any Juvenile if murder someone then he should be convicted by making a separate Act such as Juvenile Justice Act of 1986 and tried through this Act only.
  4. He was the first judge who rejected the Government’s order of Emergency that had given over Right to life and  personal liberty which is incorporated in the Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. 
  5. Notable Judgement: (i) K Veeraswami v. UOI:  Justice Verma digressed saying that the Parliament  as a ‘Public Servant’ had not intended a higher judiciary members. He recognized that corruption should be dealt with appropriate mechanism by joining the members from the Judiciary in that committee.

(ii) Kumari Shrileka Vidyarthi v. State of U.P & Ors:  Justice Verma stated in this case that fairness by the state is the basic requirement of Article 14 of Indian Constitution.

(iii) Nilabati Behera v. State of Orissa & Ors: Justice Verma argued in this case that a defense in relation to compensation as a remedy to Public Law which the principle of sovereign immunity provide is not acting. He also said that this compensation as a constitutional remedy should be given for violation of Fundamental Rights.

(iv) Jamaat-e-Islami v. Union of India: In this case Justice Verma stated that a necessary subjective judgment can not made by the tribunal. He coined the term greater probabilities’ in his judgment and never explained it.

(v) Other Landmark Cases:-

  • Hindutva Judgement
  • Vishakha & others v. State Of Rajasthan
  • AFSPA Judgement
  • T N Godavarman Thirumulkpad v. UOI & Ors.
  • Jain Hawala Case
  • Second Judge Transfer Case
  • Ayodhya Judgement:- in this case, SC elaborated meaning of Indian Secularism
  • S.R Bommai v. Union of India: This case was related to Presidential decree for dissolving Karnataka Legislative Assembly under Art 356(1) of the Emergency Provision of Constitution of India.

28.

Madan Mohan Punchhi

(18 January 1998 to 9 October 1998)

  1. M.M. Punchi was appointed as twenty-eighth Chief Justice of India by the then President of India Kocheril. He was elevated at this post from the Bar of Punjab and Haryana High Court.
  2. In the year 1955 he was appointed as Judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court. In 1982, he was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court and became Chief Justice of India in  the year 1998.
  3. The matters related to centre and state relation was dealt by the Punchhi Committee and this Committee was initiated by the M.M Punchhi, the Chief Justice of India at that.

29.

Adarsh Sein Anand

(10 October 1998 to 31 October 2001)

  1. Adarsh Sein was appointed as twenty-ninth Chief Justice of India by the then President of India Mr. Kocheril. He got elevated at the post of Chief Justice of India from the Bar of Jammu and Kashmir High Court
  2. On 11th of May 1975 he was appointed as an Additional Judge of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, later on, in November 1, 1985, he was transferred to the Madras High Court.
  3. Notable Judgement: (i) There was a case of Nilabeti Behera which held in 1993, he was appointed as judge in this case and gave his judgment on the right to compensation in case of custodial deaths. This judgment hailed as an important contribution to the protection of the Rights of the Humans.

(ii) In case of D.K Basu, the Rights of Prisoners were safeguarded as Adarsh Sein Anand laid down safeguards against the torture that has been done in the custody to the accused.

(iii) In Judgment of V.C Mishra Case, the Chairman of the Bar Council of India was initially sentenced by the Supreme Court of India for the Contempt of Court and after that he was suspended from practicing.

30.

Sam Piroj Bharucha

(1 November 2001 to 5 May 2002)

  1. Justice Sam Piroj Bharucha the thirtieth Chief Justice of India was appointed by the President K.R Narayan. He was elected at this post from the Bar of Bombay High Court.
  2. In 1960 he started practising as an advocate in the Bombay High Court, after that in 1977 he became an Additional Judge in the Bombay High Court, and then he was appointed as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court
  3. He has also delivered many significant legal decisions. He was a member of the Constitutional Panel in 2001 which consisted of five members who delivered a judgment regarding the dismissal of J. Jayalalithaa as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Till date, this was the first and only dismissal of a Chief Minister.  

31.

Bhupinder Nath Kirpal

(6 May 2002 to 7 November 2002)

  1. Justice Bhupinder was the thirty-first Chief Justice of India appointed at this office by the then President of India K.R. Narayan. He was elevated at this post from the Bar of Delhi High Court.
  2. In the year of 1962 he practised as an advocate in the Delhi High Court, then after that he was appointed as a Judge in Delhi High Court in 1979 and serve this post from November 1979 to December 1993, and in 1993 he was appointed as the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court then later on he became the Chief Justice of India.
  3. After retirement he remained at the post of President of the Indian Forest Commission.

32.

Gopal Ballav Pattanaik

(8 November 2002 to 18 December 2002)

Justice Gopal Pattanaik was the thirty-second Chief Justice of India and was appointed by the Missile Man of India who was also at the post of President of India at that time, he was none other than Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam. He was elevated at this post from the Bar of Odisha High Court.

  1. He enrolled as an advocate in Odisha High Court in 1962 and practised there until he became a counsel for the Government of Odisha in the year 1971. In 1974 he became Additional Advocate General and later on he became Advocate General.
  2. He became a permanent Judge of The Patna High Court in 1983 and in 1995 he was appointed as Chief Justice of the Patna High Court.
  3. During his judicial tenure he made many allegations against members of the higher judiciary for misconduct.
  4. Landmark Judgment: (i) he has also given the judgment in the Narmada Dam Project (where SC gave clearance that they can increase the height of the and and also for certifying rehabilitation).

(ii) He denied giving permission to the Central Government of India through which the government was going to grant permission to Hindu organization to perform ceremonies at the Babri Masjid which was disputed site in Ayodhya.

(iii) A landmark judgment in the Daniel Latifi v. Union of India, 2001. Justice Pattnaik held that the liability arises against the Muslim husbands to pay maintenance to his divorced wife under Section 3(1) of the Act. This judgment upheld the right of Muslim women in India.

33.

V.N. Khare

(19 December 2002 to 1 May 2004)

  1. He was thirty-third Chief Justice of India appointed under the office of the President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam. He was elected at this post from the Bar of Allahabad High Court.
  2. He was appointed as Chief Standing Counsel for Government of Uttar Pradesh, on 25 June 1983, and after that he was appointed as a Judge of Allahabad High Court. Later on, in 1996, he was appointed as the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court.
  3. In 1975 Khare represented the Prime Minister of India Smt. Indira Gandhi in her case against Raj Narain for alleging electoral malpractice during the emergency.
  4. Gujarat Violence after the Godhra train burning incident was a failure of his justice system. His Best Bakery Case was reopened  and later in 2012 he gave an interview giving details of this case.

34.

S. Rajendra Babu

(2 May 2004 to 31 May 2004)

  1. He was thirty-fourth Chief Justice of India appointed under the President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam. He was elevated at this post from the Karnataka High Court.
  2. He interpreted the provision of the Muslim Women Act 1986 which talks about the Protection of Rights on Divorce.
  3. He was appointed as Karnataka High Court in February 1988.

35.

Ramesh Chandra Lahoti

(1 June 2004- 31 October 2005)

  1. Justice Lahoti was the thirty-fifth Chief Justice of India appointed by the President of  India Dr. Abdul Kalam. He was appointed from the Madhya Pradesh High Court Bar.
  2. In 2004 Justice Lahoti broke the grounds with many of the predecessors stating Indian Judiciary to be clean.
  3. He upheld the population control laws of Haryana which allowed only two children per family. He rejected the argument based on the right to Privacy and religion.
  4. He quashed the Illegal Migrants Act of 1983.

36.

Yogesh Kumar Sabharwal

(l November 2005 to 13 January 2007)

  1. He was appointed as the thirty-sixth Chief Justice of India by the  then President of India Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam. He was elevated at this post from the Delhi High Court.
  2. He started his legal career as a practising advocate for the Delhi administration. He had also represented Delhi in the Bar Council of India. In November 1986 he was appointed at the post of Additional Judge in the Delhi High Court, later in February 1999 he was appointed as the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court.
  3. Notable Judgements: (i) Justice Yogesh Kumar Sabharwal in the year 2005 headed a constitutional bench which held the dissolution of Bihar assembly unconstitutional and paved  the way for the fresh election.

(ii) In 2006 Justice Sabharwal had not given relief to the Delhi Sealing Drive because this drive has demolished thousands of constructors across the Delhi.

(iii) If any cases violates the Fundamental Rights under the ninth schedule then the cases will be an open challenge in the court. This judgement was held by nine judge constitutional bench in 2007 which also include the Chief Justice Yogesh Kumar Sabharwal.

37.

K.G Balakrishna

(14 January 2007 to 12 May 2010)

  1. Balakrishna was the thirty-seventh Chief Justice of India appointed by the then President of India Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam. He was elevated at this post from the Kerala High Court.
  2. On 7th of July 2010, he was appointed as the Chairperson of the National Human Right Commission and also he was the first person to appoint at the post of Chief Justice of India from the Bar of the Kerala High Court.
  3. He was appointed as judge of Kerala District Court in the year 1997  and after that he was transferred to Gujarat High Court and he was appointed at the post of Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court in 1999.
  4. He had been at the post of Governor of Gujarat for a few months and also as the general council of the Gujarat National Law University. 
  5. Notable Judgement: (i) There was an incident of Hartal by the political parties on the judgment of Kerala High Court. He was the man who abolished that Hartal.

(iii) In 2010 Narco Analysis in the interrogations were abolished by him. He was also the part of the Supreme Court bench in Lalu Yadav’s Case.

38.

S.H. Kapadia

(12 May 2010 to 28 September 2012)

  1. He was the thirty-eighth Chief Justice of India appointed under the office of first female President Pratibha Patil. He was elected at this post from the Bombay High Court.
  2. In 1993 he was appointed as a permanent Judge of the Bombay High Court, and later on, in 2003 he became Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court.
  3. Notable Judgement: (i)  his judgment on quashing the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner made severe embarrassment for the government and also apologization of the error in the appointment by PM Manmohan Singh.

(ii) He had given a dissented judgment in the case of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Bail cancellation under income tax appellate tribunal order.

39.

Altamas Kabir

(29 September 2012 to 18 July 2013)

  1. He was the thirty-ninth Chief Justice of India appointed by the then President of India Pranab Mukherjee. He was elevated at this post from the  Calcutta High Court.
  2. On 14 January 2010 he was appointed as an executive chairman of NALSA.
  3. He was also appointed as a Judge in the Jharkhand High Court and then became Chief Justice of India.
  4. Landmark Judgement: (i) He also laid down his judgment in the Domestic Violence Act. Earlier through this Act husband relatives were not be liable for the crime but now they will be liable for the crime.

(ii) His landmark judgement was that to end Haj Subsidy by the year 2022.

(iii) He granted bail to Syed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi, who was a  journalist and was arrested for alleged involvement in vehicle blast at Israeli Embassy.

 

40.

P. Sathasivam(19 July 2013 to 26 April 2014)

  1. When he became Chief Justice he was already holding the post of Governor of Kerala in office since 2014.
  2. He was fortieth Chief Justice of India appointed under the office of President Pranab Mukherjee. He was elevated at this post from the Bar of Madras High Court.
  3. He was the second Judge from Tamil Nadu to become Chief Justice of India and also the first Judge of Supreme Court to be appointed as a Governor of a State.
  4. He started his legal career as a practising advocate in Madras High Court, after that he was appointed as the Additional Government Pleader in the Madras High Court and then hold a position of Special Government Pleader.
  5. He became a  permanent Judge in Madras High Court on 8 January 1996 and later on, in 2007 he was transferred to Punjab and Haryana High Court.
  6. He was also appointed as the  Chairman of the General Council of the Gujarat National Law University.
  7. Notable Judgement By P. Sathasivam: (i) In 2010 he had given judgment in Reliance Gas Judgment, in this case he highlighted the use of natural resources through public sector undertakings.

(ii) He also held Triple Murder Case in which he upheld the conviction of Dara Singh. 

(iii) He also delivered judgment on Jessica Lal Murder Case on 29 April 1999.

(iv) He also delivered judgment on the Mumbai Blast case and sentenced Sanjay Dutt imprisonment for five years.

41.

Rajendra Mal Lodha

(27 April 2014 to 27 September 2014)

  1. Justice Lodha was the forty-one Chief Justice of India appointed by President Pranab Mukherjee. He was elected from Rajasthan High Court Bar.
  2. He served as Chief Justice of Patna High Court and also appointed as the Judge in Rajasthan High Court and Bombay High Court.
  3. Justice Lodha headed a committee in Supreme Court on 14 July 2015 and also suspended the owners of Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings from IPL tournament for two years for involvement in betting.
  4. He started his career from Jodhpur Bar Council of Rajasthan in February 1973 and later on moved to Jaipur in 1977. And in 1990 he was appointed as Central Government counsel at the Rajasthan High Court.

42.

H.L. Dattu

(28 September 2014 to 2nd December 2015)

  1. Justice Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu was forty-second Chief Justice Of India was appointed under the office of President of India Pranab Mukherjee. He was appointed as the  Chief Justice of India or elevated at this post from the Bar of Karnataka High Court.
  2. He also served as Chief Justice of Kerala High Court and Chhattisgarh High Court, and he was also appointed as the Chairman of National Human Rights Commission and serve this office for a long time.
  3. In 1995 Dattu was appointed as the Judge of the Karnataka High Court.
  4. In February 2014, Dattu was nominated by Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam as a nominee to five-member panel to appoint Lokpal.
  5. Justice Dattu was part of two highlighted Controversy, (i) he was charged up for corruption. (ii) Justice Dattu was also involved in 2G Spectrum case.. 2G Spectrum was a scam  by the politicians and government officials which was alleged under the United Progressive Alliance Government.

43.

T.S. Thakur

(3 December 2015 to 3 January 2017)

  1. Justice T.S Thakur was the forty-third Chief Justice Of India appointed under the office by the then President of India Pranab Mukherjee. He was appointed to this post from the Bar of Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
  2. He was a former Governor of Assam and later in 1990 he was appointed as the Judge of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, he has also been at the post of Senior Advocate in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. He was also appointed as Additional Judge of Jammu & Kashmir on 16 February 1994 and upgraded as Judge to the Karnataka High Court in March 1994. Again in July 2004, he was transferred to Delhi High Court as Judge and in 2009 he was appointed at the position of Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana.

44.

Jagdish Singh Khehar

(13 September 2011 to 27 August 2017)

  1. Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar Ahluwalia was the forty-fourth Chief Justice of India and was the first to be appointed as CJI from Sikh Community. He  was appointed by the then President of India Pranab Mukherjee.
  2. His Landmark Judgement were given in the case of Triple Talaq and Right to Privacy.
  3. Some of the notable Judgement By J S Khehar:

(i) Justice Kehar led the five-judge constitution bench in case of S.C Advocates on Record v. Union of India, this case was also known as the second judges case through which the Collegium System continued and quashed NJAC Act and declared 99th Amendment unconstitutional.

(ii) In case of Nabam Rebia & Bamang Felix Deputy speaker & others, Justice Khehar headed a historic judgment that held action against Governor for violation of the Constitution and reinstalled Arunachal Pradesh Government.

(iii) Justice J.S Khehar imposed an exemplary cost of Rs.25 lakh on NGO Suraz India Trust for filling 64 false cases in various High Courts and also in certain Apex Court and for wasting judicial time.

(iv) In the case of State of Punjab v. Jagjit Singh, Justice Khehar gave a significant verdict which was applicable to those who engaged in daily wagers. This verdict was on the ‘Equal pay for Equal work’.

(v) Justice Khehar was also a member of the bench in case of Sahara Chief Subrata Roy. 

(vi) Justice Khehar upheld the practice of validity of Triple-Talaq, it was in the ratio of 3:2 majority. 

45.

Dipak Misra

(28 August 2017 to 2 October 2018)

  1. Justice Misra was the forty-fifth Chief Justice of India appointed by President Ram Nath Kovind, he was elevated at this post from the Odisha High Court Bar.
  2. Before the appointment of him as CJI he was the Chief Justice of Patna and Delhi High Court.
  3. He started his career as a practicing lawyer in the Odisha High Court, then in 1996 he was appointed as an Additional Judge at the Odisha High Court, later on he was transferred to Madhya Pradesh High Court where he became permanent judge. In December 2009 he became Chief Justice of Patna. 
  4. Justice Misra has served this post  till 2 October 2018.
  5. Most notable Judgement by Justice Misra:

(i) Justice Misra upheld the constitutionality of criminal defamation. He was part of seven benches of Supreme Court in case of  justice C.S. Karnan of Calcutta High Court on whom the contempt of court accusation was filed and sentenced him for six months.

(ii)His landmark Judgement was confirming death penalty to the four convicts in Nirbhaya Case.

(iii) In the case, on Reservation in Promotion, Allahabad High Court judgment was upheld by Justice Misra and Justice Dalveer on the reservation in promotion only if there exists sufficient data and evidence is present to justify the need and the bench rejected the Uttar Pradesh Government decision to provide reservation on the grounds that it failed to furnish sufficient valid data.

(iv) In Case of Own Motion v. State, Justice Misra delivered judgment where Delhi Police has to upload FIR (First Information Report) on their website within 24hrs so that the accused can file appropriate application before the court for redressal.

(v) In 2016, he headed a bench of the Supreme Court that made mandatory playing of the National Anthem in Cinema Hall.

(vi) He deliver a judgment making Section 497 of the IPC unconstitutional.

(vii) The 1965 rule of the Kerala Government that legally stopped women to enter in the Sabarimala Temple was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court which was headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.

(viii) One of the last judgments of Dipak Misra was live streaming of the proceedings of the Supreme Court. Misra also held that this would bring transparency in the judicial proceedings and accountability to the judicial process. It is a step towards the public interest.

6. The two big controversies that ruins the the Justice Dipak Misra tenure as CJI. These are: (a) The Medical Council of India scam; and (b) Master of the Roaster case after the four senior judge of the Supreme Court held the press conference.

46.

Ranjan Gogoi

(3 October 2018 – incumbent)

  1. He is the 46th Chief Justice of India.
  2. First Chief Justice of India from the NorthEast region.
  3. He is one of those judges who criticise the previous Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra in the press conference.
  4. A Supreme Court judgment that prohibits photographs of top politicians, other than the Prime Minister, President and Chief Justice, from featuring in government advertisements was headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and this judgment was partially ruled.
  5. When Markandey Katju  showed great displeasure from the judgment made by CJI Ranjan Gogoi in the case of Saumya rape and Murder case. Katju was served with the Contempt of Court notice by Ranjan Gogoi. But after the apology made by Katju in written, Gogoi has taken back his notice.
  6. Justice Gogoi as a member of the judicial bench send Justice Karnan of High Court to jail for contempt of court.
  7. Justice Ranjan Gogoi is the main behind the updation of National Register of Citizens in Assam that aimed to tackle the grave issue of illegal infiltration.
  8. In 2019 Gogoi was accused of sexual harassment by a former Supreme Court employee. Later on he was given a clean chit.

 

Conclusion

In a democratic country, the appointment of judges is exclusively in the hands of the judiciary. It doesn’t mean that the judiciary is free from any bounding for the appointment of judges. If the judiciary was free from any type of intervention it will misuse that power and transparency of the judiciary will not been left with any meaning. In starting we came to know about why there need of judiciary arises and how the system of providing justice to the public changes with the change in the government. Initially, the justice was provided by an individual legally authorized body and it was partial in nature but nowadays, our judiciary provide or guarantee the rights of each and every citizen. After that we came to know about the establishment of a Supreme Court in 1950, which is the supreme authority in providing justice to people.

Days passes but still many people were not knowing how the main judge, whom we say as the Chief Justice of India and judges of the Supreme Court appointed. This has been known after the Collegium system introduced in India from the Second Judges case and the Third Judges case. These cases shows that who will appoint the judges. Next, after much debate and discussion on this topic the government has passed an act called NJAC act in which the executive interference has also been included but then in 2015, this NJAC has been considered as unconstitutional and void by the Supreme Court.

We also came to know about how the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court was removed from his post. It also required majority of both houses of the parliament. Some judges have been impeached also. These are Justice V. Ramaswamy and Justice Soumitra Sen. Before they could impeached they have resign from their post.

Some of the most important power have been given to Chief Justice of India through Constitution as well as through judicial proceeding or the judgement. One of those powers is of Master of Roaster which includes three things. Firstly, the power to establish the bench to hear any case. Secondly, the power to choose which judge would hear which case and also when he hear that case. Thirdly, it is the exclusive domain of Chief Justice of India to be as the Master of the Raster. After critical analysis of the office of Chief Justice of India it can be concluded that there are many cases pending in the Supreme Court or the High Court or the Ground Level Court and the CJI has to look into this matter to decide various pending cases by making many arbitration decisions. Various petitions filed by the advocate for trying their luck were rejected and put in for pending case. Lastly, every Chief Justice of India has done something great in their life that is why they have sat on that place.

 

 

 

Did you find this blog post helpful? Subscribe so that you never miss another post! Just complete this form…

LEAVE A REPLY