New Delhi: Justice Dipak Misra, whose name chief justice of India (CJI) J S Khehar recommended Tuesday as his successor, is the second senior most Supreme Court judge. He will be the 45th CJI if the law ministry accepts the recommendation, which is more of a formality. Misra will have a 14-month tenure and will retire in October 2018.
Born on October 3, 1953, he began his career as a lawyer in February 1977 in his home state — Odisha. He was appointed Orissa high court additional judge in January 1996. Misra was transferred to the MP high court, where he became a permanent judge around two years later. He was named Patna high court chief justice in December 2009. He took over as Delhi high court chief justice five months later.
Misra was appointed a Supreme Court judge in October 2011. He headed the bench that rejected Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon’s plea for stay on his execution and that which upheld death sentence awarded to Nirbhaya’s killers.
Misra had directed police to upload FIRs on its website within 24 hours for accused to download them and seek redressal of their grievances when he was the Delhi high court chief justice. He was tough with frivolous litigation. He dismissed one such PIL that challenged title of the film ‘Dhobi Ghat’ with costs and warning to the petitioner.
In the home solutions case, he explained modern economic theory of rent and its nexus with demand and supply in the context of renting out of premises for commercial purposes while deciding validity of the provision introduced by the Finance Act of 2010. Misra was part of the two-judge Supreme Court bench that upheld the Allahabad high court verdict saying reservations in promotions can be provided only if there is sufficient data and evidence to justify the need.
Misra, who is National Legal Services Authority executive chairman, was behind the idea of establishing Legal Assistance Establishments in states to streamline activities to provide free legal aid to the needy.