New Delhi: Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar was on Wednesday sworn in as the Chief Justice of India (CJI), becoming the 44th and the first Sikh top judge of the country. Born 28 August 1952) is a judge of the Supreme Court of India since 13 September 2011.
Born on August 28, 1952, he graduated in science from Government College, Chandigarh in 1974 and went to on to do his LL.B and LL.M from the Panjab University, Chandigarh. Enrolled as an advocate in 1979, he practiced mainly in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Himachal Pradesh High Court, and the Supreme Court.
The son of a Kenyan migrant, Justice Kheharis also a regular blood donor.
Elevated to the bench of High Court of Punjab and Haryana on February 8, 1999, he served as its Acting Chief Justice twice before becoming Chief Justice of the High Court of Uttarakhand on November 29, 2009 and thereafter Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka, from August 8, 2010.
Justice Khehar is popularly known to be a non-nonsense judge.
While serving his stint as an advocate, he defended Justice V Ramaswami, a Judge of the Supreme Court, who was accused of corruption as the chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court.
Justice Khehar was part of the bench that jailed Sahara chief Subrata Roy for flouting the Sebi order. But Justice Khehar later recused himself from hearing the case further without assigning any reason.
Khehar was the author of the judgment by a five-judge constitution bench that held “unconstitutional” the Constitution’s 99th amendment paving way for the National Judicial Appointment Commission and the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act, 2014. NJAC was brought by Modi government to replace the existing collegium system of appointing judges.
Besides this, he authored the majority judgment of the constitution bench, restoring the ousted Chief Minister Nabam Tuki as Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister. The verdict was a set-back to Modi government as it quashed then Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa’s decision to advance the assembly session from January 2016 to December.
As an aftermath of Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the 2G spectrum scam, Govt of India filed a Presidential reference before the Supreme Court. Justice Khehar gave a separate concurring opinion in which he warned that the government should not be under erroneous impression that it is not necessary to allocate natural resources through auction.