Altamas Kabir, the former Chief Justice of India, was born in a Bengali Muslim family of Faridpur (now in Bangladesh) and is known for serving important posts and delivering landmark judgements. It is noted that the renowned Indian lawyer authored a total of 362 judgements and was a part of 698 benches during his career as a judge in the Supreme Court of India for eight years, of which he acted as its Chief Justice for ten months.
Education and early life
An alumnus of the Calcutta Boys' School, Kabir was reportedly told by his teacher as a student that he should pursue law owing to his impressive oratory skills and his argumentative article on social issues and their solutions.
Kabir, who held a Law degree from the University of Calcutta, was admitted to the bar in 1973 and initially practiced civil and criminal law in Kolkata's district court and the Calcutta High Court.
Credited with computerizing the courts in Kolkata, Kabir became a permanent judge of the high court in 1990. He, in early 2005, assumed the post of acting Chief Justice of the court.
The same year, Kabir was announced as acting Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court and the elevation was later made permanent.
On September 9, 2005, he was elevated to the Supreme Court of India and in 2012 became the 39th Chief Justice of India and later retired in 2013.
Notable Judgements by Altamas Kabir
Justice Kabir predominantly worked on criminal matters. He was involved in landmark cases around domestic violence, contempt of court and bail procedure.
In 2009, Prashant Bhushan's Tehelka interview was in his court. Kabir then held Bhushan's statements prima facie constituted contempt of the Court and initiated proceedings against him. Another high profile that was addressed by him was the Israeli bomb blast.
During his tenure, he had been part of many landmark judgements. His judgement striking down National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) was his last judgement before he retired.
The former CJI left to the heavenly abode in February 17, 2017, due to health complications. However, he is still remembered by many for his remarkable contributions.