Friday, December 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India





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Justice Khare new CJI
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 19
Mr Justice Visheshwar Nath Khare, the senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court, was today sworn in as the Chief Justice of India (CJI) by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He assumes office at a time when several cases of misconduct in the higher judiciary have tumbled out of the closet.

Mr Justice Khare succeeds Justice G.B. Pattanaik, who retired today after a short tenure of one and half months as the CJI.

The new CJI, 33rd in line, will have a tenure of nearly one and half years and is due to retire on May 2, 2004.

Vice-President B.S Shekhawat, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi, Law Minister Jana Krishnamurthi and other Cabinet Ministers attended the swearing-in ceremony. Former Chief Justices of India, Judges of the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court, Attorney-General Soli J. Sorabjee, Solicitor-General Kirit N. Raval and other senior advocates were also present.

Mr Justice Khare is the fourth CJI to be sworn in this year. The other three were Justice S.P. Bharucha, Justice B.N. Kirpal and Justice G.B. Pattanaik.

Mr Justice Khare was born at Allahabad in 1939 in a family of lawyers and freedom fighters. He graduated in arts and law from Allahabad University and was enrolled as an advocate on November 28, 1961.

He specialised in civil, writ, revenue and election matters. He was appointed Chief Standing Counsel for the Uttar Pradesh Government and was the Chancellorís Chief Standing Counsel for all universities in the state and also counsel for many statutory corporations, government undertakings and local bodies.

On June 25, 1983, he was appointed permanent Judge of the Allahabad High Court and subsequently acted as its Chief Justice. On February 2, 1996, he was appointed the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court and on March 21, 1997 he was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court.

Mr Justice Khare has been party to many important decisions, including the recent five-member Constitutional Bench order on the Presidential Reference on the Gujarat issue and the 11-judge Constitution Bench ruling on the administration and management of minority educational institutions.

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