First Sikh Chief Justice of India: Jagdish Singh Khehar is a Chandigarh Scholar : The 44th Chief Justice of India, Jagdish Singh Khehar is the first Sikh to hold the Top Post in the Judiciary. Khehar is a former student of Chandigarh’s Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 16, and did his Law from Panjab University.
First Sikh Chief Justice: First Sikh to be Appointed
Jagdish Singh Khehar (born 28 August 1952) is a judge of the Supreme Court of India. He was appointed on 13 September 2011 and will be the next Chief Justice of India when incumbent CJI T S Thakur retires on 4th January 2017.
Jagdish Singh Khehar will become the first Chief Justice of India from the Sikh community in the next year on January 4 2017.
First Sikh Chief Justice : Gold Medalist
For Balram Gupta, Senior Advocate and Director of Chandigarh Judicial Academy, who taught Khehar during his Punjab University days, it was rather emotional yet overwhelming to see him become the Chief Justice of India.
“For a teacher, it is a delight to know that your student has made it to the top. We live in the glory of our students,” said Gupta, adding that he shared affinity with Khehar – being his teacher to being colleagues and now friends.
He added, “Besides teaching him, we also argued cases in court at the same time and when he became a judge, I even appeared as a lawyer before him. However, we knew our roles well when we were inside the court.”
Reminiscing PU days, he also said Khehar was a very active member of debating societies at PU and took part in all competitions. “There’s a reason he was the topper and gold medallist in the law department,” he added.
While VK Bansal, another teacher at PU who taught him, feels Khehar was not that active in extra-curricular activties, he didn’t shy away from saying he was a “very serious student all through”. “Besides being my student during his LLB and LLM years at PU, we were even faculty at the law department for a while,” he said.
Vice-principal of GMSSS-16, Sukhraj Kaur Sandhu, said, “Since most of the teachers who taught him are no longer with us, needless to say as an institute we are extremely proud of a student’s achievements and we hope to have him among us soon.”
First Sikh Chief Justice: High Opinion
As an aftermath of Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the 2G spectrum scam, Govt of India filed a Presidential reference before the Supreme Court. Justice Khehar gave a separate concurring opinion in which he warned that the government should not be under erroneous impression that it is not necessary to allocate natural resources through auction.
“No part of the natural resource can be dissipated as a matter of largess, charity, donation or endowment, for private exploitation. Each bit of natural resource expended must bring back a reciprocal consideration.”
— Justice JS Khehar, Supreme Court of India,
Heading a three-judge bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Khehar decided a case involving definition of a Sikh. He held that religion must be perceived as it is, and not as another would like it to be.
First Sikh Chief Justice: Time Line
|Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India (designate)|
05 January 2017
|Appointed by||Pranab Mukharjee, President of India|
|Judge of the Supreme Court of India|
13 September 2011
|Chief Justice, Karnataka High Court|
8 August 2010 – 12 September 2011
|Chief Justice, Uttarakhand High Court|
29 November 2009 – 7 August 2010
|Born||28 August 1952 (age 64)|
|Alma mater||Panjab University, Chandigarh|