Justice Jagdish Khehar sworn in as CJI
Today, Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar took charge of the office of Chief Justice of India. Justice Khehar's appointment was cleared by President Pranab Mukherjee on December 19, 2016. He is the 44th Chief Justice of India and is the first person from the Sikh community to hold this post. His tenure will last for seven months.
Justice Khehar has been a Supreme Court judge since September 13, 2011. He acquired his LL.B and LL.M degrees from Panjab University and enrolled as an advocate in 1979. He initially practised law in Punjab and Haryana High Court and Himachal Pradesh High Court. In 1992 he was appointed Addtl. Adv. General, Punjab and in 1999, elevated to bench of Punjab and Haryana HC.
Justice Khehar was on the bench which upheld order to jail Sahara chief Subrata Roy for not refunding investors' money. He led a five-judge bench in SC that struck down controversial NJAC Act pertaining to judges' appointment. Recently, Justice Khehar headed a bench that upheld 'equal pay for equal work' which ensured parity-in-pay between casual and contractual employees if they performed the same duties.
On December 23, Supreme Court with respect to a petition filed by lawyers' body opposing elevation of Justice Khehar, termed it as "virtually infructuous" as President had already issued a notification. Again, on December 30, apex court dismissed a lawyers' petition which challenged Justice Khehar's appointment as next CJI. Apex court said there was "no question" of him being considered ineligible for CJI's post.
"The present has great challenges. We have three crore cases. We have problems of infrastructure. We have problems of judge strength being low. But please remember, we will have greater challenges in the future and that is what we have to be prepared for."