Supreme Court: India: Chief Justices

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Contents

Chief Justices Of India

Name Tenure

Harilal RS,. Kania ................................................................... 26 January 1950—6 November 1951

M. Patanjali Sastri .............................................................. 7 November 1951—3 January 1954

Mehr Chand Mahajan ....................................................... 4 January 1954—22 December 1954

B.K. Mukherjea .................................................................. 23 December 1954—31 January 1956

S.R. Das ............................................................................... 1 February 1956—30 September 1959

Bhuvaneshwar Prasad Sinha ........................................... 1 October 1959—31 January 1964

P.B. Gajendragadkar .......................................................... 1 February 1964—15 March 1966

A.K. Sarkar ......................................................................... 16 March 1966—29 June 1966

K. Subba Rao ...................................................................... 30 June 1966—11 April 1967

K.N. Wanchoo .................................................................... 12 April 1967—24 February 1968

M. Hidayatullah ................................................................ 25 February 1968—16 December 1970

RS,.C. Shah .............................................................................. 17 December 1970—21 January 1971

S.M. Sikri ............................................................................. 22 January 1971—25 April 1973

A.N. Ray ............................................................................. 26 April 1973—28 January 1977

M.H. Beg ............................................................................. 29 January 1977—21 February 1978

Y.V. Chandrachud .............................................................. 22 February 1978—11 July 1985

Prafullachandra Natvarlal Bhagwati................................... 12 July 1985—20 December 1986

R.S. Pathak .......................................................................... 21 December 1986—18 June 1989

E.S. Venkataramaiah ......................................................... 19 June 1989—17 December 1989

S. Mukherjee ....................................................................... 18 December 1989—25 September 1990

Ranganath Mishra ............................................................. 25 September 1990—24 November 1991

K.N. Singh .......................................................................... 25 November 1991—12 December 1991

M.H. Kania ......................................................................... 13 December 1991—17 November 1992

L.M. Sharma ....................................................................... 18 November 1992—11 February 1993

M.N. Venkatachalaiah ...................................................... 12 February 1993—24 October 1994

A.M. Ahmadi ..................................................................... 25 October 1994—24 March 1997

RS,.S. Verma ............................................................................ 25 March 1997—18 January 1998

M.M. Punchhi ..................................................................... 18 January 1998—9 October 1998

A.S. Anand.......................................................................... 10 October 1998—31 October 2001

S.P. Bharucha ...................................................................... 1 November 2001—5 May 2002

B.N. Kirpal .......................................................................... 6 May 2002—7 November 2002

G.B. Pattanaik .................................................................... 8 November 2002—18 December 2002

V.N. Khare .......................................................................... 19 December 2002—1 May 2004

S. Rajendra Babu ................................................................ 02 May 2004—31 May 2004

R.C. Lahoti .......................................................................... 01 June 2004—31 October 2005

Y.K. Sabharwal ................................................................... 01 November 2005—13 January 2007

K.G. Balakrishnan.............................................................. 14 January 2007—11 May 2010

S.H. Kapadia ...................................................................... 12 May 2010—28 Sep 2012

Altamas Kabir ...................................................................29 September 2012 18 July 2013

P. Sathasivam.....................................................................19 July 2013---26 April 2014

Rajendra Mal Lodha..................................................................27 April 2014 27 September 2014

H. L. Dattu.................................................................. 28/09/2014 - 02/12/2015

Tirath Singh Thakur..................................................................... 03/12/2015-03/01/2017

Jagdish Singh Khehar........................................................04/01/2017-...28 Aug 2017

Dipak Misra.................................................................. 28 Aug 2017- 2 Oct 2018

Ranjan Gogoi...................................................................2 Oct 2018

Notes

Justice Dipak Misra became the 45th Chief Justice of India, and the first in 67 years to have `Z' category security cover. On July 30, 2015, in a pre dawn hearing, a Justice Mis ra-led bench had rejected 1993 Mumbai blasts condemned prisoner Yakub Memon's last-gasp plea for commutation of his death penalty . Shortly thereafter, a threat letter necessitated `Z' category security for him. Justice Misra becomes the third person from Odisha to become CJI. (Dhananjay Mahapatra |Dipak Misra is CJI, will serve till Oct 2018 |Aug 29 2017 : The Times of India (Delhi))

Career paths of CJIs, SC judges

Three CJIs in a row from Karnataka High Court

Oneindia

Oneindia | 4th Dec, 2015


Source: www.oneindia.com

Justices Dattu, Thakur and Kehar: Karnataka High Court's rare distinction


For Karnataka, Justice T S Thakur being sworn in as the Chief Justice of India is quite a rare distinction. He took over from Justice H L Dattu and after his retirement, going by the seniority list, it would be Justice Kehar who is likely to be the Chief Justice of India.

Now what is common is that all three have served in the Karnataka High Court. Justice Kehar had in fact served as the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court before his elevation to the Supreme Court.

Three Chief Justices and the Karnataka connection:

Justice H L Dattu who just retired as the Chief Justice of India was appointed as Judge of the Karnataka High Court on December 12 1995. He was then transferred to the Chattisgarh high Court and elevated as its Chief Justice.

He was then transferred to the Kerala High Court before being appointed as a Supreme Court judge in 2008. Justice T S Thakur was appointed as an Additional Judge of the High Court of J & K on 16th February, 1994 and transferred as Judge of the High Court of Karnataka in March, 1994.

He was appointed as a permanent Judge in September, 1995. Was transferred as a Judge of the High Court of Delhi in July 2004. 
He was then appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Delhi High Court on 09.04.2008 and took over as Chief Justice of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana on August 11, 2008.

He was elevated as Judge of Supreme Court and assumed charge on 17.11.2009 and appointed as Chief Justice of India on 03.12.2015. He is due to retire on January 4th 2017.

After Justice Thakur retires, going by the list, Justice J S Kehar will be appointed as the Chief Justice of India. Although Justice Anil R Dave is senior, he will retire on November 18 2016. Post his retirement, Justice Kehar who has a tenure up to August 28 2017 will be the senior most judge. Following Justice Thakur's retirement on January 4 2017, Justice Kehar will take over as Chief Justice of India and would have a tenure of 8 months. Justice Kehar was elevated to the Bench of High Court of Punjab and Haryana, at Chandigarh, on February 8, 1999. He was appointed as Acting Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court twice i.e., with effect from August 02, 2008, and again, with effect from November 17, 2009.

He was elevated as Chief Justice of the High Court of Uttarakhand, at Nainital, on November 29, 2009 and thereafter he was transferred as Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka, where he assumed his office on August 8, 2010. He was appointed judge of the Supreme Court on September 13, 2011.

Investigating allegations against CJI

There is no mechanism to do so

Dhananjay Mahapatra, April 22, 2019: The Times of India

With the sexual harassment allegation against CJI Ranjan Gogoi not going to die down soon despite a strong denial from the head of the judiciary, many are wondering what could be the procedure for dealing with complaints alleging criminal misconduct against a judge of the constitutional court or even the CJI.

Neither the Gender Sensitisation and Sexual Harassment of Women at the Supreme Court of India (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Regulations nor the committee set up under it would be of much help to deal with the complaint filed by a dismissed junior court assistant as the panel does not have the mandate to deal with a complaint against a judge of the SC, much less the CJI, who nominates an SC judge to head the committee which deals with complaints of sexual harassment.

The in-house inquiry mechanism too is of little help as it talks about complaints received by the CJI against judges and the procedure to conduct inquiry into the complaint. But in both the gender sensitisation committee and the in-house mechanism, there is no provision as to what should be the procedure for a complaint against the CJI.

There is also no proper mechanism as to what a judge should do when such a complaint is filed. But with successive CJIs — Justices Dipak Misra and Ranjan Gogoi — facing different accusations, it is the image of the judiciary that is getting dented.

For, in the Veeraswamy judgment, a constitution bench of the SC had said, “The CJI being the head of the judiciary is primarily concerned with the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Hence, it is necessary that the CJI is not either from the evidence of the prosecution and/or evidence from the defence.”

With CJI Gogoi leading the bench of three judges on Saturday, questions are being asked in some quarters as to how a person against whom the complaint was made by the dismissed woman junior court assistant could preside over a bench and then recuse when the time came to dictate orders.

Applying the procedure applicable to commoners would mean that anyone facing a sexual harassment charge must immediately cease and desist from discharging the duties he is statutorily or constitutionally tasked with. This would create a situation where it would be difficult for the highest constitutional functionaries to carry on with their duties. Keeping this in mind, the SC in Veeraswamy case had ruled that constitutional court judges will enjoy immunity from instant registration of FIRs when a complaint accuses them of committing a criminal act under IPC or Prevention of Corruption Act, even though it clarified that judges are public servants.

The SC, while dealing with corruption charges against a former HC chief justice, had said in 1991, “A judicial scandal has always been regarded as far more deplorable than a scandal involving either the executive or a member of the legislature. The slightest hint of irregularity or impropriety in the court is a cause for great anxiety and alarm.”

However, the SC in Veeraswamy case had provided a mechanism to deal with criminal complaints against judges of constitutional courts as well as the CJI. It had said, “In order to protect a judge from frivolous prosecution and unnecessary harassment, the President will consult the CJI who will consider all the materials placed before him and tender his advice to the President for giving sanction to launch prosecution or for filing FIR against the judge concerned after being satisfied in the matter. The President shall act in accordance with the advice given by the CJI”.

 SC committee clears CJI of sexual harassment

Dhananjay Mahapatra, May 7, 2019: The Times of India


A three-judge in-house Supreme Court panel headed by Justice S A Bobde on Monday dismissed a sacked SC woman employee’s sexual harassment complaint against CJI Ranjan Gogoi, finding “no substance” in her allegations.


“The in-house committee has found no substance in the allegations contained in the complaint dated April 19, 2019, of a former employee of the Supreme Court of India,” a statement issued by SC secretary-general Sanjeev Kalgaonkar said. The complainant rejected the finding and termed it a “grave injustice to her”.

The panel, comprising Justices Bobde, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee, submitted its report to Justice Arun Mishra, the third most senior judge in the SC after the CJI. The report was submitted to Justice Mishra as the second most senior judge, Justice N V Ramana, who was initially part of the in-house inquiry panel, recused himself after the complainant said he was close to the CJI.

Justice Bobde set up the panel after the CJI assigned him administrative and judicial powers to deal with the inquiry and cases arising from the harassment complaint.

In writing its report, the three-judge panel considered a large number of documents, including the complainant’s 28-page affidavit sent to all judges on April 19 complaining of alleged sexual harassment on October 11, 2018, by the CJI, and her statement recorded before the probe panel.

Justice D Y Chandrachud’s letter

Dhananjay Mahapatra, May 7, 2019: The Times of India

Most judges back CJI, question judge’s letter

Soon after the in-house probe panel dismissed the sexual harassment complaint against the CJI, an overwhelming majority of Supreme Court judges on Monday expressed solidarity with Ranjan Gogoi and questioned the propriety of the letter of Justice D Y Chandrachud (in pic) to the panel suggesting alteration of the inquiry procedure, reports Dhananjay Mahapatra.

Contrary to reports in a section of the media that views shared by Justice Chandrachud in his May 2 letter to the Justice Bobde panel had the support of 17 of 22 judges, SC sources said an “overwhelming number of judges met the CJI on Monday before lunch and expressed solidarity with the head of the institution while questioning the propriety of the letter”.

Personal lives

Austere Justices Misra, Gogoi

Dhananjay Mahapatra, Gogoi has no house, no mortgage; Misra has a flat and a home loan, October 3, 2018: The Times of India


Life’s Savings Of Duo Will Fall Short Of Advocates’ Daily Earnings

When attorney general K K Venugopal on Monday said judges’ salaries should be tripled, he probably had in mind the asset declarations by Supreme Court judges, particularly Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and CJI-designate Ranjan Gogoi, who will take oath as CJI.

CJI Misra retires after 21 years as a permanent judge, 14 of which were spent in high courts. Justice Gogoi became a permanent judge of Gauhati high court on February 28, 2001, and took oath as an SC judge on April 23, 2012.

Despite their long stints as HC and SC judges, their personal wealth remained paltry, and they would be considered paupers compared to successful senior advocates. Their lifelong savings in bank balance and other assets, put together, would fall short of the daily earning of many senior advocates, who command astronomical fees.

Justice Gogoi does not own a single piece of gold jewellery while the only jewellery his wife owns is what she got from her parents, relatives and friends at the time of her marriage. CJI Misra has two gold rings, which he wears, and a gold chain. His wife has a little more jewellery than Justice Gogoi’s spouse.

Both the CJI and the CJIdesignate do not have any personal vehicle, may be because they were provided with official cars for the last nearly two decades. But unlike some judges of the SC and HCs, Justices Misra and Gogoi don’t dabble in the stock market.

Justice Gogoi has no outstanding loan, mortgage, overdraft, unpaid bill or any other liability. Justice Misra had taken Rs 22.5 lakh loan from a bank to purchase a flat in the advocates’ cooperative society in Mayur Vihar, Delhi, which he is repaying. The CJI has another house in Cuttack, which was constructed more than a decade before he become an HC judge. Both of them had declared these assets in 2012.

Bank balance, including LIC policy, for Justice Gogoi and his spouse totals a meagre Rs 30 lakh. He declared in July that a plot of land at Beltola in Guwahati purchased by him in 1999, before becoming a judge in Gauhati HC, was sold for Rs 65 lakh in June (he declared the name of the purchaser too). He also said his mother had transferred in his and his spouse’s name a plot of land in Japorigog village near Guwahati in June 2015.

Compared to their assets, a successful senior advocate in the SC earns more than Rs 50 lakh a day. AG Venugopal, while speaking at CJI Misra’s farewell function, probably had the Rs 1 lakh per month salary of an SC judge in mind. Of course, the judges get good perks, allowances and help at the residence. But in money terms, judges are far disadvantaged compared to senior advocates.

Powers, status

SC: CJI is master of roster, 'first among equals'

July 6, 2018: The Times of India


The Supreme Court (SC) reiterated that the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is the master of the roster and has the power to allocate cases in the top court because he is the first among equals in the judiciary.

The SC said this while pronouncing judgement on a plea by former law minister Shanti Bhushan challenging the existing roster practice of allocation of cases.

The top court refused to accept Bhushan's contention that the allocation of cases should be done by the SC collegium. Bhushan had also said case allocation should not be prerogative of the CJI. It added that the the apex court and the CJI represent the judiciary and act as their spokespersons.

"It is the moral responsibility of the CJI to look after the court and case management," said the apex court.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan had on April 27 reserved its verdict on the petition, which was opposed by Attorney General K K Venugopal who had said that any attempt to delegate the power of allocation of cases to other judges would lead to "chaos".

In his PIL, Shanti Bhushan has alleged that "master of roster" cannot be an "unguided and unbridled" discretionary power, exercised arbitrarily by the CJI by hand-picking the benches of select judges or by assigning cases to particular judges.

The petition assumes significance in light of the January 12 press conference where four senior-most judges of the top court - Justices J Chelameswar (since retd), Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph - had said the situation in the top court was "not in order" and many "less than desirable" things have taken place.

During the arguments, Venugopal had stressed the need for "unity" among the judges of the top court and said that Bhushan's petition to vest the power to allocate cases to the five-member collegium might lead to "conflict" among judges on who would hear which matter, besides multiplicity of authorities.

"It is essential that there should be one person doing this and if it has to be one person, then it has to be the CJI," the Attorney General had told the bench.

Senior counsel Dushyant Dave and advocate Prashant Bhushan, who had appeared for Shanti Bhushan, had questioned the manner in which some "sensitive cases" were allocated to particular benches in the court in contravention of the rules.

Dave had referred to constitutional provisions and the Supreme Court Rules and said that there was "ambiguity" in the rules as to whether the CJI possessed the power to frame the roster.

The petitioner had also made it clear that the plea and its prayer was to strengthen the court and was not directed against any individual.

The sources of this article

Till 2011:

INDIA 2012

A REFERENCE ANNUAL

Compiled by

RESEARCH, REFERENCE AND TRAINING DIVISION

PUBLICATIONS DIVISION

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

See also

Supreme Court: India (mainly SC's rulings)

Supreme Court, India: Administrative issues

Supreme Court: India: Chief Justices

Supreme Court: India: Sitting judges

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