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Allegedly ‘short-tempered’ JS Khehar to get quite short 8-month term as Chief Justice of India

The upcoming CJI roster: From TS Thakur to JS Khehar (Jan 2017) to Dipak Misra (August 2017)
The upcoming CJI roster: From TS Thakur to JS Khehar (Jan 2017) to Dipak Misra (August 2017)

Supreme Court Justice JS Khehar has been formally confirmed by the President of India as the next Chief Justice of India (CJI) to succeed Justice TS Thakur and will be the first CJI from the Sikh community, according to the Indian Express.

Khehar will begin his term on 4 January 2017 until his retirement on 27 August 2017, when he is set to be succeeded by Justice Dipak Misra, who will have a term of more than a year until 2 October 2018, according to the Supreme Court’s CJI lottery.

Thakur, by contrast, enjoyed a term as CJI of more than a year after his appointment on 3 December 2015.

Meanwhile, a writ petition by the National Campaign for Judicial Transparency and Reforms, filed by advocate Mathews J Nedumpara, last week was seeking to stay the appointment of Khehar arguing that he was unsuitable to be CJI due to his alleged short temper, reported The Quint.

The petition alleged that Khehar gave preference to high profile lawyers in his court room, was unsuitable due to his role in the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) judgment, which was responsible for “killing of the dream of the people of India to have judges of the higher judiciary being appointed through a mechanism which is independent of the executive and equally independent of the judiciary” - a long-taken position by Nedumpara.

The petition also alleged that Khehar is:

very short-tempered; very aggressive; and at times perceived to be tyrannical on the lawyers and litigants as His Lordship takes Contempt for the slightest of the mistakes that occur at the Bar, which is, with much respect, in loud contrast with the universally accepted qualities of an ideal judge

The petition is expected to be heard (and all but certain to be dismissed) on 23 December 2016 by the Supreme Court’s vacation bench.

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