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JS Khehar

15 June 2015

The central government on Monday told the Supreme Court that any invalidation of the NJAC for the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary would not result in the automatic resurrection of the collegium system of appointment.

07 May 2015

Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi attacked the collegium system during his arguments in the Supreme Court yesterday defending the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), using the example of allegations of bias and nepotism in 2013 judicial appointments, reported the Indian Express.

He cited former Gujarat high court chief justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya’s letter to the president that had alleged that the then-chief justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir had impeded his elevation to the Supreme Court because he had earlier, as part of the collegium, opposed the elevation of Kabir’s sister to the Calcutta high court.

“I dare say this but there are several examples like this. And what was the weightage given to the letter written by a fellow judge? How was that not important to collegium?” Rohatgi told the Constitution Bench led by Justice JS Khehar, as reported by /Express/.

Kabir’s sister Shukla Kabir Sinha was appointed as a Calcutta high court judge in 2010 by a collegium in which Kabir had recused himself from the decision, while Bhattacharya, who was also a part of the collegium, had objected to her elevation.

24 September 2014

The Supreme Court has selected former Australian high court judge Michael Kirby to chair over the arbitration between Reliance Industries and the Centre over KG Basin gas production, after five months ago Justice SS Nijjar, had already selected one and then another Australian ex-judge to preside after the first turned out to have been preferred by Reliance.

Justice JS Khehar has now confirmed Kirby, who will arbitrate alongside ex-Chief Justice of India’s (CJI) SP Bharucha and VN Khare - respectively Reliance and ministry nominees - reported the Times of India.

17 May 2014

Supreme Court justices TS Thakur and AK Sikri will be hearing the controversial Sahara case on 19 May after Justice KS Radhakrishnan retired and Justice JS Khehar recused himself and said he wanted nothing to do with any Sahara matters in future. Radhakrishnan had professed to have faced "unimaginable pressured and tension" in the case. [PTI]

15 May 2014

Supreme Court Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar told the Supreme Court registry on 6 May, the evening after passing its scathing judgment against Sahara chief Subrata Roy and his lawyers, that he did not want to be on the new bench that would hear the Sahara matter after the bench headed by retiring Justice KS Radhakrishnan would be reconstituted after the holidays, reported the Indian Express.

According to the paper, Khehar also said that he did not want to be on any bench hearing any matters related to a Sahara group company in future. Justice Radhakrishnan had made comments last week that he had faced "pressure, tension and strain" over the Sahara hearings, which found voice in an unprecedented written judicial diatribe against lawyers abusing the system and trying to manipulate the justice system.

06 February 2013

Supreme Court judges P Sathasivam and JS Khehar yesterday justified awarding the death penalty to the murderer of a seven-year-old boy, on the ground of his gender among other “aggravating circumstances”. Killing the sole male child of a family meant the lineage could not be carried forward, reported the Times of India.

The bench said:

The parents of the deceased had four children — three daughters and one son. Kidnapping the only male child was to induce maximum fear in the mind of his parents. Purposefully killing the sole male child has grave repercussions for the parents of the deceased…

Agony for parents for the loss of their male child, who would have carried further the family lineage, and is expected to see them through their old age, is unfathomable. Extreme misery caused to the aggrieved party certainly adds to the aggravating circumstances.

The accused lured the victim, whom he knew, away after school under some pretext, kidnapped him and called his house for ransom. After a delay in being provided the money he strangled the boy stuffed him in a gunny bag and dumped him in a water tank.

06 December 2012

The chief justice of India Altamas Kabir yesterday told off senior advocate Arvind Dattar who, in the matter of SEBI V Sahara, had objected to his passing an order contradictory to an order passed by a two judge bench of the court - before which bench the matter is still pending.

A bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar had on 31 August ordered two Sahara group companies to refund the Rs 24,000 crore they had collected through optional fully convertible debentures, to SEBI with 15 per cent interest by 30 November, because Sahara had violated regulatory norms.

Yesterday Kabir’s bench, also comprising justices SS Nijjar and J Chelameswar, allowed the Sahara group to complete the payment of refund to SEBI in two months’ time, ending in the first week of February, contrary to the 31 August order.

The bench reasoned that it was allowing Sahara’s application to protect the interest of investors. The investors, however, were not given a hearing before this order.

Dattar, appearing for SEBI, insisted that propriety called for the matter to be heard by the bench before which it was pending, and that Kabir must record this submission in the court’s order.

"We will record what we feel to record. We cannot record what you say,” shot back Kabir.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh insisted that the investors’ and Sahara’s application should not be disposed of without hearing the investors, which suggestion was again dismissed by Kabir in, reportedly, an “angry tone”. [Hindustan Times]

Singh was appearing for the Universal Investors Association, and wanted the court to take up a writ petition filed on behalf of the investors. Kabir’s bench rejected the plea saying that the investors had no rights since they were not party to the main petition. [The Hindu]

Legally India Supreme Court postcard writer Court Witness tweeted: “Would completely understand if both or one of Radhakrishnan & Khehar are supremely upset with Kabir for undermining them in this way.”