Mehr Chand Mahajan

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Mehr Chand Mahajan
3rd Chief Justice of India
In office
4 January 1954 – 22 December 1954
Appointed by Rajendra Prasad
Preceded by M. Patanjali Sastri
Succeeded by Bijan Kumar Mukherjea
2nd Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
In office
15 October 1947 – 5 March 1948
Preceded by Ram Chandra Kak
Succeeded by Sheikh Abdullah
Personal details
Born December 23, 1889
Died 1967

Mehr Chand Mahajan (born December 23, 1889, Tika Nagrota, Kangra district–1967) was the third Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India. Prior to that he was the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir during the reign of Maharaja Hari Singh and played a key role in the accession of J&K to India. He was the Indian National Congress nominee on the Radcliff Commission that defined the boundaries of India and Pakistan.

Justice Mahajan made his name as an accomplished lawyer, a respected judge, and an influential politician. As a judge he was incisive and forthright and had many leading judgments to his credit.

Career as a lawyer[edit]

Mahajan started his career as a lawyer in 1913 in Dharmshala, where he spent a year practising. He spent the next four years (1914-1918) as a lawyer in Gurdaspur. He then practiced law in Lahore from 1918 to 1943. During his time there, he served as president of the High Court Bar Association of Lahore (1938 to 1943).

Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir[edit]

Mahajan was Prime Minister of J&K during 1947 and played a role in the accession of the state to India. He was the one who turned down the offer of district Lahore and instead annexed district Gurdaspur to India.

Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India[edit]

Mahajan took office as the third Chief Justice of India on January 4, 1954. He was the head of India's judicial system for almost a year, until his retirement on December 22, 1954 (mandatory retirement at age 65). Before becoming Chief Justice he served as one of the first Judges of the Supreme Court of independent India from October 4, 1948 to January 3, 1954.

Other positions of note[edit]

  • Director, Punjab National Bank, 1933–43
  • Pres. D.A.V. College, Managing Committee, 1938–43
  • Fellow and Syndic, Punjab University, 1940–47
  • Judge, Lahore High Court, 1943
  • All India Fruit Products Association Bombay Session, 1945
  • Member, R.I.N. Mutiny Commission, 1946
  • 1947 Prime Minister, Jammu and Kashmir State 1947-48
  • Judge, East Punjab High Court
  • Punjab Boundary Commission, 1947
  • Syndic, East Punjab University, 1947–50
  • Constitutional Adviser to His Highness the Maharaja of Bikaner, 1948
  • Hon. Degree of LL.D., Punjab University; 1948
  • Member, Fruit Development Board, Punjab

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Janak Singh
Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
1947–1948
Succeeded by
Sheikh Abdullah
Legal offices
Preceded by
M. Patanjali Sastri
Chief Justice of India
3 January 1954 – 22 December 1954
Succeeded by
Bijan Kumar Mukherjea