V. N. Khare

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V. N. Khare
33rd Chief Justice of India
In office
19 Dec 2002 – 2 May 2004
Preceded by Gopal Ballav Pattanaik
Succeeded by S. Rajendra Babu
Personal details
Nationality Indian
Alma mater Allahabad University

Vishweshwar Nath Khare was the 33rd Chief Justice of India, serving from December 19, 2002 to May 2, 2004. He was a judge of the Supreme Court of India from March 21, 1997 before he was elevated to the post of Chief Justice.

Early life[edit]

Khare was born in Allahabad on May 2, 1939. He lived in Allahabad for much of his life and was educated at Allahabad University. Khare was a First Class cricket player, playing for the state of Uttar Pradesh in Ranji Trophy matches in 1958.

Legal career[edit]

Khare started his career as an Advocate in the Allahabad High Court in 1961, where he practised on Civil, Writ and Revenue petitions. He was appointed Chief Standing Counsel for the Government of Uttar Pradesh. On June 25, 1983, he was appointed a Judge of the Allahabad High Court. In early 1996, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, from where he was elevated to the Supreme Court of India a year later.


Main article: The Emergency (India)
See also State of Uttar Pradesh v. Raj Narain

As an Advocate in 1975, Khare and his uncle, S. C. Khare, represented Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, in her famous case against Raj Narain, alleging electoral malpractices. He was responsible for advocating the case that got the order of the High Court stayed until an appeal could be filed in the Supreme Court.[1] The adverse and ambiguous decision of the Supreme Court led to the imposition of Emergency in India for a period of 19 months, the only suspension of democracy the country has seen since Independence in 1947.

Gujarat violence[edit]

See also 2002 Gujarat violence

During his tenure as the Chief Justice of India, Khare was confronted with the failure of the justice system in the aftermath of the Gujarat violence following the Godhra train burning. His decision to reopen Best Bakery Case provided some recourse for victims of the violence. Speaking to The Hindu newspaper when he retired[2] he said, "I found there was complete collusion between the accused and the prosecution in Gujarat, throwing rule of law to the winds. The Supreme Court had to step in to break the collusion to ensure protection to the victims and the witnesses. I was anguished and pained by the turn of events during the trial of the riot cases but was determined to salvage the criminal justice delivery system."

Post retirement[edit]

Since retiring as Chief Justice of India, Khare comments occasionally on national television and press on issues of jurisprudence.[3] His comments on the Jessica Lal murder case echoed the sentiments expressed during the Gujarat riots. He is also appointed as the Chancellor of Central University of Jharkhand.[4]

Awards and honors[edit]

Khare was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour in 2006.[5]


  1. ^ Kuldip Nayar 1977. The judgment: Inside story of the emergency in India. Vikas Publishing House.
  2. ^ "The Hindu : National : I raised the image of judiciary: V.N. Khare". Hindu.com. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Justice after Jessica Lall". Indianexpress.com. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Justice V.N.Khare". Cuj.ac.in. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "V. N. Khare". Supremecourtofindia.nic.in. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gopal Ballav Pattanaik
Chief Justice of India
19 December 2002– 2 May 2004
Succeeded by
S. Rajendra Babu

External links[edit]