Justice Dipak Misra to take over as CJI on 27 August
New Delhi: Justice Dipak Misra, former chief justice of Patna and Delhi high courts, was on Tuesday appointed as the next chief justice of India.
Justice Misra has been appointed as the next Chief Justice of India on the basis of seniority. His tenure is expected to continue for 14 months, till October 2018. He will take over the coveted constitutional position from chief justice J.S. Khehar on 27 August.
Enrolled at the Bar in February 1977 and having practised at the Orissa HC and the Service Tribunal for almost 19 years, he began his judicial career as an additional judge of the Orissa HC in 1996. In December 1997, he was appointed a permanent judge of the Madhya Pradesh HC.
Following this run, he was appointed as the chief justice of the Patna HC in 2009, and as chief justice of the Delhi HC in 2010. His elevation to the Supreme Court followed in 2011.
He is known for leading the bench which rejected the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon’s appeal to stop his execution and for upholding the death sentence awarded to the accused persons in the 16 December 2012 Delhi rape case.
Further, the judgment, ordering mandatory playing of the national anthem in movie theatres—which brought the court both favour and criticism—was also delivered by him along with his fellow judges.
In the past, he has ordered the Delhi Police to ensure FIRs (first information reports) are published on the website within 24 hours of filing, upheld the constitutional validity of criminal defamation—ordering Arvind Kejriwal, Rahul Gandhi and Subramanian Swamy to face trial—and halted the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to provide reservation in promotions without sufficient valid data.
He has been instrumental in the introduction of ‘Nyaya Sanyog’ (Legal Assistance Establishments) at the state level to enable access to justice for the needy.
Simultaneously, he is known for coming down heavily on frivolous litigants. Two such instances are rejecting a petition objecting to the film title Dhobi Ghat, and critically dismissing a frivolous petition filed by a defaulter for seeking a one-time settlement on her dues despite rejection of her previous writ petition.
He was chosen as part of a three-judge bench constituted by chief justice Khehar to hear the Ayodhya land dispute case from 11 August. Delivering a judgment in this controversial case is expected to be one of the biggest challenges before his incoming term.
While he prepares to take on the new position, a writ petition was on Tuesday filed by Punjab MP Harinder Singh Khalsa in the Delhi HC, challenging justice Misra’s appointment as the chief justice of India.