Justice Dipak Misra was on Tuesday appointed as the next Chief Justice of India, succeeding incumbent J S Khehar at the helm of Indian Judiciary. The 63-year-old’s appointment was officially announced by the Law Ministry this evening. Misra, senior most judge in the Supreme Court, will take charge from Khehar on August 27 as the 45th Chief Justice of India. He will have a 14-month tenure and will retire in October 2018.
Born in 1953, Misra began his career as an advocate on 14th February 1977. He practiced in constitutional, civil, criminal, revenue, service and sales tax matters at the Orissa High Court and the Service Tribunal. Subsequently, he was appointed as an additional judge of the Orissa High Court in 1996 and transferred to the Madhya Pradesh High Court next year. Misra became a permanent Judge towards the end of 1997.
He assumed charge of the office of Chief Justice, Patna High Court in 2009 and became the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court a year later. Justice Misra was elevated as a Supreme Court judge in 2011. He is known for heading the bench that dismissed Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon’s plea seeking a stay on his execution, as well as upholding the death sentence given to Nirbhaya’s killers.
Among other notable decisions, Misra had directed Delhi Police to upload FIRs on their website within 24 hours of registration so the accused could download them and seek redressal of their grievances. He was equally strict against frivolous litigation. He rejected one such petition that objected to the title of the film ‘Dhobi Ghat’ and warned the petitioner.
Justice Misra has also been entrusted the task of heading a three-judge bench to hear a batch of petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case from August 11.
Misra, who is National Legal Services Authority executive chairman, was the mastermind behind the idea of introducing Legal Assistance Establishments in states to streamline activities to provide free legal aid to the needy.