Jagdish Singh Khehar

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Some firsts

Dhananjay Mahapatra, A number of firsts as Khehar takes oath as Chief Justice of India Jan 05 2017 : The Times of India

Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar took oath on Jan 04 2017 as the Chief Justice of India to become the first from the Sikh community to head the Supreme Court in its nearly 67 years of existence.He takes pride in being the first from his community to head the judiciary .

Immediately after taking oath, he rushed back to the court to break a tradition. In the last decade, whenever a judge took oath as CJI on a working day , the business of the Supreme Court used to commence half-an-hour late, at 11am, to allow the new CJI to take wishes from colleagues, leaders of the Bar and others.But Justice Khehar, along with Justices NV Ramana and DY Chandrachud, commenced proceedings in CJI's courtroom at 10.30am.

After breaking this tradition, the new CJI, in the first few minutes in the court, did a short work of the traditional half-an-hour long mentioning of cases by advocates, who used to request advancing of the scheduled date of hearing for their cases. In his trademark polite yet firm remarks, he sent out a strong message -no more tinkering with the already scheduled dates for hearing of cases unless there is grave urgency .

β€œHe wants to reduce the time consumed by lawyers in mentioning cases for outof-turn hearing. He feels this eats into the limited judicial time available for disposal of cases,β€œ said a source close to Justice Khehar, who is the 44th CJI and will hold office till August 27.

Justice Khehar believes in equality before law; and this quality , sources say , would bring a change in the judicial temperament in matrimonial cases.

Traditionally, the courts had adopted a lenient view towards women in matrimonial cases. This will change, sources said. Justice Khehar believes in giving importance to the merits in a case and not the gender of the litigant, they said.

Khehar was appointed chief justice of Uttarakhand HC in November 2009 and chief justice of Karnataka HC in August 2010. He was appointed judge of the Supreme Court on September 13, 2011

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