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Altamas Kabir sworn in as 39th Chief Justice of India

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President Pranab Mukherjee with the new Chief Justice of India, Altamas Kabir, at Rashtrapati Bhawan in the Capital on Saturday. -- Kamal Narang
President Pranab Mukherjee with the new Chief Justice of India, Altamas Kabir, at Rashtrapati Bhawan in the Capital on Saturday. -- Kamal Narang

Justice Altamas Kabir was today sworn in as the 39th Chief Justice of India by President Pranab Mukherjee.

He took over the post from Justice Sarosh Homi Kapadia who served as the CJI for nearly two-and-a-half years.

Justice Kabir, 64, took the oath in the name of God at a brief ceremony in the Ashoka Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Justice Kabir was appointed Supreme Court judge on September 9, 2005. He has delivered several landmark judgements, including on human rights and election laws. He will have a tenure of nine months till July 18, 2013.

Besides Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, several Union Ministers were present at the ceremony.

NDA working Chairman L. K. Advani, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD leader Lalu Prasad were also present at the swearing in.

Born on July 19, 1948 in Kolkata, Justice Kabir did his LLB and MA from the University of Calcutta and was made a permanent judge of the Calcutta High Court on August 6, 1990.

He is part of the bench hearing the case of the two Italian Marines who allegedly shot dead two Kerala fishermen taking them to be pirates.

Justice Kabir headed a bench which recently decided the case of the disqualification of MLAs by the speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. The bench quashed the speaker’s order on disqualification of the MLAs who had defected from BJP.

He also decided the important issue of whether an MP suspended from a political party can continue as MP.

The bench headed by him held that even after being removed or suspended from a party, the person can continue as MP and participate in its proceedings and shall be entitled to vote.

He is also dealing with the petition filed by Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav seeking review of the judgement ordering a CBI probe into a case of disproportionate assets against them and members of their family. The verdict is reserved.

(This article was published on September 29, 2012)
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