Fresh face of Justice
Justice Dipak Misra is set to become the 45th Chief Justice of India, as his name was recommended by erstwhile Chief Justice JS Khehar. Chief Justice Khehar's term ends on August 27, when Justice Misra is set to assume the role until October 2, 2018. Originating from Odisha, he has served in the Orissa High Court, Madhya Pradesh High Court, and Delhi High Court before being elevated to the Supreme Court of India on October 10, 2011. Known for his quiet demeanour, resilience and astute confidence, immense is expected of this stalwart who has been a venerated figure within legal circles.
Justice Misra had scripted history when he led a three-Judge bench which heard the mercy plea of Yakub Memon, who had been convicted of being an active agent enacting the Bombay blasts that shook the commercial capital of India in 1993. Memon's death penalty was granted by Justice Misra, who has since received several death threats and continues to be protected under the highest security. In May 2017, Justice Misra also conducted the landmark judgment which confirmed the death penalty of the four convicts involved in the horrific Nirbhaya rape case, providing some solace to restless Indians across the world. In his verdict,
Justice Misra penned that the "brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature" of the crime could create a "tsunami of shock" to destroy a civilised society, he said. He has been a propagator of women's safety, which was explicit in his judgment to ban dance bars in Mumbai which witnessed rampant exploitation of women in the cultural industry. At present Justice Misra is hearing several consequential cases concerning BCCI's transparency in Indian cricket, the SEBI-Sahara spat which seeks to unveil the corruption of Sahara seeking to forfeit them to repay their several investors. He is also leading a bench which is endeavouring to grant approval to women up to a certain age to enter the famous Sabarimala Temple in Kerala. As Justice Misra assumes office as the 45th Chief Justice of the country he will begin hearing the extremely crucial and volatile Ram Mandir and Babri Masjid case. While Justice Misra has added several feathers to his cap he has an uphill task at hand. Justice Misra's decision to revoke President's rule in Uttarakhand is an example of this very powerplay.
Further, courts across India are witnessing unprecedented distress at the moment. Over 2.8 crore cases remain pending in District courts across the country, with 5,000 posts lying vacant. The 'Indian Judiciary Annual Report' presenting this data also suggests that to make-up this loss close to 15,000 new judges have to be appointed to cover up the lapse and move forward judiciously. Justice Misra now holds the fortune of 1.3 billion Indians, who look up to him with immense faith that he will not he will not disembark the validity and veracity of the judiciary. Now that our courts are under severe distress, Justice Misra's alacrity could be a fortunate saviour.