Jagdish Singh Khehar sworn in as Chief Justice of India
- Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, the seniormost judge of the Supreme Court, was sworn in as the 44th Chief Justice of India by President Pranab Mukherjee.
- Justice Khehar will have a tenure for over seven months till August 28, 2017. He assumed office as a judge of the Supreme Court on September 13, 2011.
- His appointment comes at a time when the relationship between the government and the judiciary remains tense over an unprecedented number of judicial vacancies — 400-odd — in High Courts and eight in the Supreme Court.
- Even on his last day at work, Justice T.S. Thakur, current CJI’s predecessor, had accused Centre of letting Supreme Court Collegium’s recommendations of judicial appointments and transfers “languish on somebody’s desk.”
- Incidentally, it was Constitution Bench led by Justice Khehar which had pushed into motion exercise of re-drafting the over 2-decades-old MoP in a bid to bring in transparency & accountability into judicial appointments process.
- Chief Justice Khehar faces the challenge of presenting a unified face of the Collegium, consisting of Justices Dipak Misra (who will succeed him as the country’s 45th Chief Justice of India as per seniority convention), Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi (who will succeed Justice Misra) and the new entrant into the Collegium, Justice Madan B. Lokur.
- The year 2016 saw Justice Khehar helm a number of sensitive decisions impacting the Executive, including his verdict forcing the government to withdraw President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh in January last year.