Chief Justice Dipak Misra: A man with landmark judgments
On August 28, 2017, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Dipak Misra took the oath of office and succeeded Justice J.S. Khehar to become the 45th Chief Justice of India. The Hon’ble President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, administered the oath to Justice Misra at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. He will serve as the Chief Justice of India for a term of nearly 14 months, until 2nd October, 2018. Justice Misra’s tenure will encounter significant cases such as the Cauvery waters dispute, BCCI Reforms case, Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute, and the SEBI-Sahara case.
Justice Misra was elevated to the Supreme Court on October 10, 2011. His career started off in the year 1977, when he enrolled himself to the Bar as an Advocate and practiced constitutional, civil, criminal, revenue, service, and sales tax matters in the Orissa High Court. Subsequently, he was appointed as Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court in 1996. He was transferred to the High Court of Madhya Pradesh and was made a Permanent Judge on December 9, 1997. He has served as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Patna from December 2009 till May 2010 and thereafter served as Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court till he was elevated to the Supreme Court in the year 2011.
Justice Misra’s career is speckled with radical cases and judgments. He headed the bench which rejected Yakub Memon’s last efforts for a reprieve when he came knocking on the door of the Apex Court on the day he was to be executed. He also headed the three-judge bench comprising of Justice Bhushan and Justice Banumathi and himself, in the sensational gang rape-murder more commonly known as the “Nirbhaya Case” describing the crime as “brutal, barbaric and diabolical”. The bench upheld the verdict of the Delhi High Court sentencing the four convicts to death. Justice Misra also headed the Supreme Court Bench upholding the constitutional validity of the penal laws on defamation, holding that the “reputation of one cannot be allowed to be crucified at the altar of the other’s right of free speech.” Another noteworthy judgment by Justice Misra was the one whereby states and Union Territories were directed to upload FIRs on their websites within 24 hours of their registration in order to enable the accused and others to file appropriate please in the courts for redress.
Chief Justice Misra’s tenure is marked with numerous landmark judgements. He has assumed office at a time when the Supreme Court has been receiving a lot of applause for rulings in high-profile cases such as the Constitution Bench striking down instant triple talaq, and upholding a citizen’s fundamental right to privacy. This has set the bar for Chief Justice Misra exceptionally high, and with him at the helm of the Indian Judiciary the entire country is looking forward to an illustrious and bright future.
Author: Jui Masurekar
College: Pravin Gandhi College of Law
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