Justice Sarosh Homi Kapadia was Friday named the next chief justice of India, while Chief Justice Gayan Sudha Mishra of the Jharkhand High Court was sworn in as a Supreme Court judge, ending a four year wait for a woman in the apex court.
Kapadia, who will assume charge May 12, will take over from Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, the first Dalit to hold the post.
Born Sep 29, 1947, only months after India’s independence, Justice Kapadia enrolled as an advocate in September 1974 and practiced in the Bombay High Court.
He was appointed an additional judge of the high court and became its permanent judge March 23, 1993. He headed a specially constituted court to try the offences related to the infamous security scam of the 1990s.
He was elevated to the Supreme Court Dec 18, 2003.
Justice Kapadia had long and arduous grinding in the financial, economic and banking laws through his professional career both as lawyer and judge.
As a Bombay High Court judge and later as an apex court judge, he decided important financial matters under the Reserve Bank of India and Banking Regulation Act, and those concerning the constitutional validity of the 74th Amendment Act of 1992 dealing with municipalities.
Leaving no aspect of economic laws untouched, Justice Kapadia dealt with matters concerning mergers and acquisitions of companies, those related to Payment of Bonus Act and those under Industrial Disputes Act.
Also Friday, the Supreme Court got three new judges, with Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice Gyan Sudha Misra becoming the first woman judge since Justice Ruma Pal retired in June 2006.
The others who were elevated to the apex court were Madras High Court Chief Justice Hemant Laxman Gokhale and Bombay High Court Chief Justice Anil Ramesh Dave.
They will be the judges of the Supreme Court with effect from the dates they assume charge of their offices.
Justice Mishra told reporters that she was happy with the new post and described herself as a representative of Indian women.
Justice Fathima Beevi was sworn-in as the first woman judge of the Supreme Court Oct 10, 1989. She retired April 29, 1992.
The other women who were able to make it to the apex court as judges were Sujata V. Manohar in November 1994 and Justice Ruma Pal in 2006