Jayantilal Chhotalal Shah

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J. C. Shah
12th Chief Justice of India
In office
17 December 1970 – 21 January 1971
Appointed by V.V. Giri
Preceded by M. Hidayatullah
Succeeded by S.M. Sikri
Chief Justice of Bombay High Court
Preceded by Prakash Chandra Tatia
D. N. Patel (acting)
Personal details
Born (1906-01-22)January 22, 1906
Ahmedabad
Died 4 January 1991(1991-01-04) (aged 84)

Jayantilal Chhotalal Shah (22 January 1906 – 4 January 1991) was the twelfth Chief Justice of India from 17 December 1970 until his retirement on 21 January 1971. He was born in Ahmedabad.[1]

Shah attended the R.C. School in Ahmedabad. He went to Gujarat and Elphinstone colleges in Bombay.[2]

Shah began his practice at the Ahmedabad District Court.In the year 1949, he moved to the Bombay High Court where he was judge for 10 years.[3] In October 1959, he was appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of India, and became Chief Justice of India in December 1970. He was part of the legal team prosecuting Nathuram Godse and other defendants in the Gandhi assassination case.[citation needed]

Indian Emergency (1975 - 77) and Shah Commission[edit]

On May 28, 1977, the home ministry appointed Justice J. C. Shah, who was then a retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India to head the Shah Commission. It was set up by the central government under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 to probe excesses committed during the Emergency in India.[4] The Shah commission was required to look "into excesses, malpractices and misdeeds committed during the Emergency by the political authorities, public servants, their friends, and in particular allegations of gross misuse of power of arrest or detention, use of force in the implementation of the family planning programme and indiscriminate and high-handed demolition of houses, shops, buildings etc. in the name of slum clearance."[5]

The commission concluded that during the Emergency the provisions of the Maintenance of Internal Security Act and the Defence of India Rules were not followed but were abused in order to damage political opponents.[6] Concerning the circumstances in which the emergency was proclaimed, the commission found that there was no economic crisis and no crisis of law and order.[7] The commission decided that the decision to impose Emergency was made by prime minister Indira Gandhi alone, without consulting her cabinet colleagues, and was not justified.[6] The report was particularly scathing of Indira Gandhi, her son Sanjay Gandhi, Pranab Mukherjee, Bansi Lal, Kamal Nath and officers belonging to civil services who helped Sanjay Gandhi.[8] The commission concluded that during the Emergency the provisions of the Maintenance of Internal Security Act and the Defence of India Rules were not followed but were abused in order to damage political opponents.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sethi, Sunil. "High priest of justice". India Today. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  2. ^ "Jayantilal Chhotalal Shah". Supreme Court of India. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  3. ^ Sethi, Sunil. "High priest of justice". India Today. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  4. ^ Sen, Vikramajil; Singh, Ajay. "The law: What after Shah Commission?". India Today. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  5. ^ Sen, Vikramajil; Singh, Ajay. "The law: What after Shah Commission?". India Today. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c Sen 2002, p. 141.
  7. ^ Sen 2002, p. 140-141.
  8. ^ Kumar & Agrawal 1993, p. 193ff.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mohammad Hidayatullah
Chief Justice of India
17 December 1970 – 21 January 1971
Succeeded by
Sarv Mittra Sikri