New Delhi: Chief Justice of India T.S.Thakur on Tuesday recommended to the government that Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar be appointed his successor when he demits office on January 3, said informed sources.
Justice Khehar happens to the senior-most judge after the CJI and should succeed to the post on the principle of seniority. As Chief Justice, he will have a tenure of over seven months as he would be retiring on August 28, 2017.
Considered to be a strong judge, Justice Khehar presided over the constitution bench that junked the National Judicial Appointment Commission as unconstitutional holding that it intruded upon the independence of judiciary.
The government had sought to replace the existing collegiums system for the appointment of judges to higher judiciary by the NJAC mechanism through the enactment of Constitution’s 99th amendment that had put in place NJAC and the NJAC Act, 2014.
Justice Khehar also presided over the five judges’ constitution bench that had quashed the then Arunachal Pradesh Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa’s decision to prepone the assembly session from January 2016 to December as it directed restoration of ousted Chief Minister Nabam Tuki’s government.
But subsequent political developments in Arunachal Pradesh took a different course.
Having done LL.B and LL.M from Punjab University, Chandigarh, Justice Khehar was awarded Gold Medal for securing first position in the university in LL.M examination.
Before being elevated as a judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh on February 8, 1999, Justice Khehgar had practised before it as well as the Himachal Pradesh High Court and the Supreme Court. He was twiuce appointed as the acting Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court from August 2, 2008, and again from November 17, 2009.
He was elevated as Chief Justice of Uttrakhand High Court on November 29, 2009. Later he was transferred as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court.
Justice Khehar was elevated as judge of the Supreme Court on September 13, 2011.