New Delhi: Justice Tirath Singh Thakur was sworn in as the 43rd Chief Justice of India on Thursday. He took over from Justice HL Dattu, who retired on Wednesday. Justice Thakur is slated to be the in power for 13 months.
President Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath taking ceremony of Thakur at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in the morning in the presence of luminaries including Former Chief Justices H L Dattu, K G Balakrishnan, SH Kapadia, Rajendra Mal Lodha.
Thakur before becoming the Chief Justice of India had various feathers in his cap.
Thakur, known for his pragmatic approach cleansed the Indian cricket after it got entangled with countless scams including the infamous IPL spot-fixing case.
The foremost challenge for him would be to appoint judges.
It was Thakur and the dynamic approach of his bench that order the setting up of the Lodha Committee to probe into the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The bench suggested various moves that would make the BCCI accountable and transparent.
Justice Thakur is known for giving a patient hearing to every case listed before his bench.
Thakur was also responsible for ordering a CBI probe into the Saradha Ponzi fiasco in West Bengal. The CBI probe, besides catching the Mamata Banerjee-led government in back foot, unearthed the role of top ministers’ in the multi-crore scam.
The oath taking ceremony was attended by cabinet ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, DV Sadananda Gowda, Harsh Vardhan, Smriti Irani, and senior BJP leader LK Advani. Also present were the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress party leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, Delhi governor Najeeb Jung, and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Jjustice Depak Misra, who had been recommended as a successor by Justice J.S Khehar in July, becomes the 45th Chief Justice of India and was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Justice Dipak Misra was sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India
His tenure will span for the next 14 months until his retirement in October 2018
Justice Misra is the only CJI to have armed protection of black commandos
New Delhi, August 29, 2017: The Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S Khehar demitted office on August 27. The next in line was Justice Dipak Misra, who was sworn in on August 28 as the 45th Chief Justice of India at a ceremony held at the Darbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath taking ceremony of Misra, who had been recommended as a successor by Justice J.S Khehar in July this year.
In his career spanning 40 years, Justice Dipak Misra ventured into most realms of the law- civil, criminal, constitutional, revenue services and matters concerning sales tax, proving his grit to take over the new position. But that is not the only intriguing aspect of his career.
Justice Deepak Misra is the first ever Chief Justice of India to have a ‘Z’-category security cover.
The 45th CJI was provided with an upgraded security cover in 2015 after he had received a death-threat letter from terrorist organizations.
Why Would A Supreme Court Judge Need Security Cover?
On July 30, 2015, Justice-Misra headed the three-judge bench in a hearing when Yakub Memon, convicted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, pleaded for a 14 days’ stay on his death penalty just hours before he was to be hanged. The pleas were starkly dismissed in an incomparable 2:30 am hearing and the judgment went on to become a landmark in the Indian legal history.
However, shortly after the hearing, an anonymous letter enclosed in an envelope threatening Misra of dreadful consequences was delivered at his official residence following which he was provided with a ‘Z’ security cover which remains till date.
A protectee under ‘Z’ category gets security cover from armed commandos of the National Security Guards (NSG) along with an escort vehicle and a pilot vehicle, each having three armed personnel, for the protection of his official vehicle.
Today, Justice Misra is the only top judge to ever use a bullet-proof ambassador car supplemented with a police escort.
However, death threats never stalled the 63-year old Justice Dipak Misra from taking monumental judgments and he has been at the forefront of some of the landmark judgments in the recent history. We take a look at the highlights from his career,
1. In May 2017, Justice Misra doctored the long-awaited landmark ruling and confirmed death penalty of the four convicts in the monstrous 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape that shook the entire world.
2. Justice Dipak Misra also headed the bench that mandated to play the National Anthem in cinema houses before the start of every movie for which he received a lot of flak. He also ordered for the viewers to stand up in “committed patriotism and nationalism” every time the National Anthem and/or the National Flag are featured in the theatres.
3. One of the most noteworthy decisions by Justice Misra include directing all State and Union Territories to upload all FIRs registered on their websites within 24 hours of registration at the police station. The move has made the entire process transparent, allowing the accused to download complaints and seek redressal of their grievances.
4. Justice Misra was also one of the seven judges of the special bench set up by the Supreme Court for a contempt of court hearing against Justice C.A Karman who had levied corruption charged on 20 judges of the High Court. The bench defended the constitutionality of the 150-year old law on criminal defamation and sentenced Karnan to six months in jail.
5. In 2015, a Justice Misra-led bench stayed the Maharashtra government’s ban on dance bars that had mushroomed in Mumbai and other parts of the state during the 90s. However, it maintained that the government must take steps to protect and uphold the dignity of women who performed at these bars.
6. Justice Misra is also known for his strict stand against frivolous litigations. He previously rejected one such appeal that had objected to the use of the term ‘Dhobi Ghat’ in a film’s title and had warned the petitioner.
7. He was also part of the bench that rejected the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to allow for reservations in promotions and asserted that this can only be allowed if there is sufficient supportive data and evidence to justify the decision.
8. Holding chair as the executive chairperson of the National Legal Services Authority, Justice Misra introduced the facility of Legal Assistance Establishment or Nyay Sanyog in states to simplify activities to provide free and faster legal aid to the deprived people.
Congratulations Justice Dipak Misra for being sworn in as CJI. Your past judgements bring hope for a child-friendly, speedy judicial system.
9. Justice Misra also headed the three-judge bench that instructed the Centre in April 2017 to conduct NEET examination in Urdu from academic year 2018-2019 onwards. NEET examinations are held for students who wish to pursue a graduate medical course or a post-graduate medical course in private or government colleges.
Justice Dipak Misra’s tenure as the 45th Chief Justice of India will span for the next 14 months until he retires in October 2018 and is expected to see judgments in some high-magnitude issues like the validity of the Aadhaar card, the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir and the Ayodhya land dispute.
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Despite serious allegations levied against Chief Justice of India, H.L. Dattu by Justice Markandey Katju, no probe or investigation has been initiated regarding the same.
On his personal blog, Markandey Katju had written that he had documents claiming H.L. Dattu’s misuse of his judicial position. The documents, he claimed, contained how Dattu had amassed large amount of property near Bangalore under his wife’s name.
“There are a large number of plots in or near Bangalore purchased in the name of Justice Dattu’s wife Gayathri. Photocopies of the sale deeds by which they were purchased are in the dossier. These sale deeds mention the name of Justice Dattu’s wife Gayathri, but interestingly enough describe her as daughter of Guravayoor ( probably her father’s name ), and not wife of Justice Dattu. This is strange, since the plots were purchased long after her marriage. Was this done to conceal these transactions?” he wrote on Satyam Bruyat.
Markandey Katju claimed that the land was bought by H.L. Dattu in violation of property law that disqualifies a person with family income of over Rs. 2 lacs per year, from buying land in the rural areas of Karnataka.
He also wrote that Dattu had been allotted a plot of land in Bangalore, however “under the relevant scheme such plots could only be allotted to an employee of the Karnataka High Court. A High Court Judge is not an employee ( he holds a Constitutional post, and is no one’s employee).”
“One plot of land in Bangalore was allotted to Justice Dattu under a scheme which had a term that a person already having a plot of land in Bangalore could not be allotted a plot. Justice Dattu already had plots in Bamgalore(sic), either in his own name or in his wife or children’s name at that time. He has also built a palatial house in Bangalore, allegedly on 1200 sq.m. land. Possibly that house itself would be worth Rs 50 crore or more.” Katju further added.
Markendey Katju made the allegations based on a dossier that he received containing proof of property amassed by H.L. Dattu before he was appointed the Chief Justice of India.