Aziz Mushabber Ahmadi
|Aziz Mushabber Ahmadi|
|Chief Justice of India|
October 25, 1994 – March 24, 1997
|Nominated by||none (per convention as he was the senior most judge)|
|Preceded by||M. N. Venkatachaliah|
|Succeeded by||J. S. Verma|
March 25, 1932 |
Aziz Mushabber Ahmadi (A. M. Ahmadi) was the 26th Chief Justice of India. After serving as a judge in the Gujarat High Court, Ahmadi was appointed judge to the Supreme Court in 1988. He was then elevated to the post of Chief Justice, and served from 1994-1997. Today, he serves as Chancellor at the Aligarh Muslim University.
Having received Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), Ahmadi joined the Bar in 1954. He eventually was appointed judge to the City Civil & Sessions Court of Ahmedabad in 1964. During this time, Ahmadi was appointed as Secretary of the Legal Affairs of the State of Gujarat in 1974, which soon led to an appointment as Judge of the Gujarat High Court in 1976.
As Judge of the Gujarat High Court, Ahmadi worked as Chairman of various advisory boards for:
- Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities
- Prevention of Black Marketing
- Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities.
Also, he worked as a Member of the Ravi & Beas Waters Disputes Tribunal under the Rajiv-Longowal Settlement (Punjab Settlement).
Ultimately this led to an appointment as a Justice in the Supreme Court of India in December 1988. After six years, Ahmadi was appointed as Chief Justice of India in October 1994. Ahmadi became the third Muslim ever to serve as Chief Justice of India. After serving for two and a half years, he eventually stepped down to retire in March 1997.
Justice Ahmadi as Chief Justice of India on September 13, 1996 in a judgement authored by Justice Majmundar, in the UCC case, concurred with the view that the offence fell within the scope of section 304A,IPC and not within the scope of section 304 (II), IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). Later the accused were tried user section 304A and were convicted and sentenced to 2 years punishment, further the NGO's raised a hue and cry and persuaded the government to file a curative petition in the Supreme Court which was decided by a 5 judge bench, which upheld the view taken by the Justice Ahmadi bench, and dismissed the petition.
Among many recognitions include:
- Member of the American Inn of Laws (May 1995)
- Honorary Master Bencher of the Honourable Society of Middle Temple, London (November 1996)
- Degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) conferred on by University of Leicester, England. (July 1998)
- Nominated on International Committees:
Chancellor at Aligarh
Since entering academics, he has been invited to speak at various universities and forums worldwide. Particularly in India, he has used his status to speak out on political issues such as minority rights.
Using his status, Ahmadi also continues to speak out for Muslim Rights in India, himself being a Dawoodi Bohra Muslim. Today he remains active in Indian politics as an advocate of minority rights, most recently through a book entitled A Guide To Uplift Minorities by the city-based Human Welfare Trust .
Putting emphasis on education, Ahmadi has frequently mentioned that the vast Muslim population of India is struggling to put children in school. He encourages federal and state governments to solve this problem, stating that, "the country simply cannot afford to have a certain percentage of population unable to contribute to the country's development.".
Bhopal Gas Tragedy Judgement
Bhopal Gas Tragedy was one of the worst industrial disasters in modern India. In September 1996, Justice Ahmadi delivered the verdict on the Bhopal Gas leak case that quashed the charges from Section 304 (Part II) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to Section 304 (A) of IPC, without considering the evidence of the culpability of Union Carbide India Ltd and its officials. This reduced the Bhopal disaster to an equivalent of a traffic accident and consequently brought down the prison term for the crimes of Bhopal from 10 years to 2 years. After retirement, he went on to head the hospital trust that was set up with the money from the sale proceeds of Union Carbide India Limited’s shares held by Union Carbide Corporation. Activists have alleged foul play and corruption on the part of Justice Ahmadi.
He is a sought after arbitrator in high value domestic as well as international arbitration matters.
- Muslims haven’t availed of constitutional rights: justice Ahmadi
- Book review: A guide to uplift minorities
Manepalli Narayana Rao Venkatachaliah
|Chief Justice of India
25 October 1994 – 24 March 1997
Jagdish Sharan Verma