Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar was sworn in as the 44th Chief Justice of India on Wednesday. He led the five-judge constitution bench in the Supreme Court which had struck down the controversial National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act for the appointment of judges,
President Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath of office and secrecy to Justice Khehar at the Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Khehar took oath in the name of God in English at the ceremony where the Opposition was conspicuous by its absence.
Then CJI, TS Thakur had last month recommended the name of Justice Khehar, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, to be his successor.
Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, 64, will be the first Chief Justice from the Sikh community. Justice Thakur demitted office on Tuesday. He will hold the tenure for over seven months until 27 August.
Justice Jagdish Khehar takes oath as the Chief Justice of India pic.twitter.com/W9bvgnwAym
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Besides heading the bench in the NJAC matter, Justice Khehar has also headed a bench which had set aside the imposition of President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh in January.
He was a part of the bench which sent Sahara chief Subrata Roy to jail while hearing the matter relating to the refund of money invested by people in his two companies.
Justice Khehar also headed a bench which recently gave a significant verdict holding that the principal of “equal pay for equal work” has to be made applicable to those engaged as daily wagers, casual and contractual employees who perform the same duties as the regulars.
The turf war between the judiciary and the executive over the appointment of judges for higher judiciary has intensified these days. Justice Khehar on the occasion of Constitution Day on 26 November had responded to the tirade from Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi by saying the judiciary was working within its “lakshmanrekha“.
He also said that “Judiciary is mandated to shield all persons, citizens and non-citizens alike, against discrimination and abuse of state power. Liberty, equality and dignity of citizens have flourished substantially in India due to the pro-active role of the judiciary in the country,”