Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 4
Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar (64) was on Wednesday sworn in as the 44th Chief Justice of India by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan here. He succeeded Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and is the first CJI from the Sikh community.
Justice Thakur demitted office yesterday, and had last month recommended the name of Justice Khehar, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, to be his successor.
(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)
Justice Khehar assumed office as an apex court judge on September 13, 2011. He will head the Indian judiciary for a little less than eight months before retiring on August 27.
Justice JS Khehar has headed two Constitution Benches of the apex court, one that had revived the Collegium system of appointing higher judiciary judges and the other that restored the Congress government headed by Chief Minister Nabam Tuki in Arunachal Pradesh.
He was associated with the impeachment proceedings of apex court Justice V Ramaswami and Karnataka HC Chief Justice PD Dinakaran.
From Tribune archives — PU taught me how to speak and think right: Justice Khehar on his university days
He appeared as counsel to defend Justice Ramaswami, who survived the impeachment proceedings in the Lok Sabha in the 1990s, before the Judges Inquiry Committee headed by Justice PB Sawant of the apex court. As an apex court judge, he was part of the judges’ inquiry panel that had gone into complaints of misconduct against Justice Dinakaran.
Born on August 28, 1952, Khehar graduated in science from Government College, Chandigarh in 1974. He was awarded the LLB degree by Panjab University, Chandigarh, in 1977 and LLM in 1979.
He was enrolled as an advocate in 1979 and practised mainly in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Himachal Pradesh High Court and Supreme Court.
Justice Khehar was appointed as Additional Advocate General, Punjab, in January 1992, and then as Senior Standing Counsel, Union Territory, Chandigarh.
He was elevated to the bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court on February 8, 1999. Justice Khehar was appointed as Acting Chief Justice of the High Court twice.
He was elevated as Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court 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.
On appointment in the Supreme Court, he assumed office as SC judge on September 13, 2011. — With agency inputs