Justice Mahesh Chandra Sharma, who on his last working day recommended that the cow should be made a national animal, became a high court judge in 2007. In his 10 years as a judge, Sharma has presided over the Dara Singh fake encounter case, a defamation case against Narendra Modi when he was the Gujarat CM and separate land cases that allegedly involved three high court judges and Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje.
Sharma started out as an advocate in 1979. A Jaipur resident, he did his BSc from the Government College in Dausa in 1975, studied law at the University of Rajasthan in 1978 and got a diploma in labour laws the next year. He was also an additional advocate-general from 2000 to 2003. As an advocate, Sharma had at different times represented the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Trust-City Place, Jaipur, Shri Sheela Mataji Trust, Amber, Jaigarh Public Charitable Trust, and Hindustan Times and Rajasthan Patrika, among others.
In the fake encounter case of Dara Singh, an anti-social with involvement in the illegal liquor trade, a police constable who was an accused, had filed a plea alleging the CBI was discriminatory in its treatment of the accused, some of who were senior police officers. Sharma had reprimanded the CBI. PTI quoted him saying on April 6, 2012: “You people salute an accused, offer him tea and coffee and land him behind the bars facilitating his judicial custody.” He had added: “The aims and objectives with which the CBI was established have been compromised.”
In 2012, Sharma dismissed a defamation case filed by a Rajasthan resident against Narendra Modi over his remarks about Jawaharlal Nehru. In another land case, Sharma acquitted Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, pertaining to the heritage structure, Jal Mahal. About 100 acres of government land had been given to a private company on a 99-year lease in violation of rules. Judge Sharma had observed that the CM had not approved the deal.