S. H. Kapadia

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Sarosh Homi Kapadia
Justice Sarosh Homi Kapadia
38th Chief Justice of India
In office
12 May 2010 – 28 September 2012
Appointed by Pratibha Patil, President of India
Preceded by K. G. Balakrishnan
Succeeded by Altamas Kabir
Personal details
Born (1947-09-29) 29 September 1947 (age 67)
Mumbai
Spouse(s) Shahnaz
Religion Zoroastrianism[1]

Sarosh Homi Kapadia (Gujarati: સરોશ હોમી કાપડિયા) (Hindi: सरोश होमी कापडिया) (born 29 September 1947[2]) was the thirty-eighth Chief Justice of India.[3][4][5][6]

Career[edit]

Kapadia started his career as a class IV employee. He later became a law clerk with a lawyer's office in Mumbai. Kapadia joined Gagrat & Co, a law firm, as a clerk and later went on to work with Feroze Damania who was a highly respected "firebrand" labour lawyer . However his zeal to achieve inspired him to join the legal profession and he became an advocate. He joined as an advocate in the Bombay High Court on 10 September 1974.

He was appointed as an additional judge of the Bombay High Court on 8 October 1991 and on 23 March 1993 he was appointed as a permanent judge. On 5 August 2003 he became the Chief Justice of the Uttaranchal High Court. On 18 December 2003 he was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court.[2] On 12 May 2010 he was sworn in as the Chief Justice of India by the President Pratibha Patil. He retired on September 29, 2012. During his tenure as Chief Justice he was the Chairman of the General Council of the Gujarat National Law University and the Visitor of the National Law School of India University.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Kapadia is married to Shahnaz and has a son who is a Chartered Accountant and a daughter. He holds a keen interest in Economics, Public Finance, Theoretical Physics and Hindu and Buddhist Philosophies.[2]

Notable judgments[edit]

Quashing of the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner[edit]

On March 3, 2011, a three member bench headed by Kapadia, quashed the appointment of Chief Vigilance Commissioner, P.J. Thomas, made by the High Power Committee comprising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj (dissenting). The judgment caused severe embarrassment for the Government and made Manmohan Singh admit the error in appointment. While the judgement was welcomed by most media pundits,[8] some experts have expressed their concerns of miscarriage of justice. Former IAS officer, S. M. Murshed writes, 'the ratio decidendi of the Hon’ble Supreme Court is a bit difficult to comprehend, for, in the last analysis, the entire case against Thomas rested on a solitary, misconceived FIR which was filed as an afterthought and which should never have been filed. Given the facts, Manmohan Singh did no substantive wrong and he did not commit any error (in appointing Thomas).'[9]

Dissenting judgement in Lalu Prasad Yadav's bail cancellation case[edit]

He was part of the three-member Supreme Court bench that decided a PIL filed by two NDA leaders seeking the cancellation of bail of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and his wife and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi for their interference in the judicial process in the disproportionate assets (DA) and Income Tax cases against them.[10]

The verdict, by majority of 2:1, went in favour of Prasad but Justice Kapadia gave a dissenting judgement saying the income tax department should have filed an appeal against the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) order. On the issue of promotion of judge Munni Lal Paswan, he said, while competence and suitability of two other judges, who were promoted to the post of Special Judge along with Paswan, were determined on the basis of annual confidential report (ACRs) and inspecting the judges' reports, the criteria was not applied while promoting Paswan who had been found to be slow in disposing cases.[10][11]

Vodafone judgment[edit]

The Vodafone judgment was among the most high-profile of Justice Kapadia’s tenure.[12]

Others[edit]

Justice Kapadia delivered a landmark judgement relating to succession of property in April 30, 2005 in which he ruled out the possibility of conducting the DNA test.[citation needed]

Quotes[edit]

  • "I am proud to be an Indian. India is the only country where a member of the minority Parsi community with a population of 1,67,000, like myself, can aspire to attain the post of the Chief Justice of India. These things do not happen in our neighbouring countries."
    • Chief Justice Kapadia speaking at the Independence Day celebrations in the Supreme Court.[1][13]
  • "Right to life, we have said, includes environmental protection, right to live with dignity. Now we have included right to sleep, where are we going? It is not a criticism. Is it capable of being enforced? When you expand the right, the judge must explore the enforceability."
    • Chief Justice Kapadia during a lecture on "Jurisprudence of Constitutional Structure".[14]
  • "A day might come when the rule of law will stand reduced to a rope of sand."
    • Justice Kapadia reacting to a flood of Public Interest Litigations (PIL) being filed in the Supreme Court against corruption and non performing government authorities.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Minorities can rise to top jobs only in India: Chief Justice of India". The Times of India. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "CJ & Sitting Judges - Hon'ble Mr. Justice S.H. Kapadia". Supreme Court of India website. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Agencies (Apr 30, 2010). "Justice S H Kapadia appointed as new CJI". The Indian Express. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Aditi Phadnis (May 14, 2010). "Newsmaker: S H Kapadia". Business Standard. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Sarosh Homi Kapadia Appointed Chief Justice of India". Parsi Khabar. April 30, 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Honourable Mr. Justice S. H. Kapadia.". Bombay High Court. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Justice S H Kapadia sworn in as new Chief Justice of India". The Times of India. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "A severe indictment". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 3 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Murshed, S. M. (29 Mar 2011). "PJ Thomas: Saga of a Man Wronged". Boloji.com. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "SC reprieve for Lalu PIL to cancel bail rejected". Aug 22, 2006. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Lalu, Rabri win a reprieve in SC". Aug 22, 2006. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 
  12. ^ "The Man Who Ruled in Vodafone’s Favor". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 18, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Accountability law must not encroach on judicial independence, cautions CJI". The Indian Express. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  14. ^ "Judges Should Not Govern Nation: CJI". Outlook India. 25 August 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "Their crusading lordships". India Today. November 16, 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
K. G. Balakrishnan
Chief Justice of India
12 May 2010 – 28 Sep 2012
Succeeded by
Altamas Kabir