Justice Altamas Kabir, seniormost Judge of the Supreme Court, was sworn in as the 39th Chief Justice of India on Saturday. President Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath of office to him at a brief ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Justice Kabir will have a tenure of a little over nine months till July 18, 2013. A stickler for discipline, procedures and adherence to rules, Justice Kabir, is known for his humility. He has endeared himself to the members of the Bar and the Bench.
Among those who attended the swearing-in ceremony were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh; Vice-President Hamid Ansari; outgoing CJI Justice S.H. Kapadia; the former CJIs, Justices V.N. Khare and A.M. Ahmadi; retired Supreme Court judges, including Justice A.R. Lakshmanan and Arijit Pasayat; the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, D. Murugesan; Chief Justice of the Madras High Court M.Y. Eqbal; seniormost Judge in the Madras High Court Elipie Dharma Rao; Congress president Sonia Gandhi; BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Arun Jaitley; RJD leader Lalu Prasad; Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh; Union Ministers P. Chidambaram, A.K. Antony, Veerappa Moily, Kapil Sibal, Salman Khurshid; Minister of State in the PMO V. Narayanasamy and other Ministers.
Supreme Court Bar Association president P.H. Parekh; All-India Bar Association chairman Adish C. Agarwala; Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati; law officers; the former Attorney-General, Soli Sorabjee; other senior lawyers and family members of Justice Kabir were also present.
Justice Kabir (64), who hails from Kolkata, was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court on September 9, 2005. He became a Judge of the Calcutta High Court in 1990. He was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court on March 1, 2005 and elevated to the Supreme Court in September 2005. During his tenure as a Supreme Court judge, Justice Kabir delivered several landmark judgments, particularly relating to human rights and election laws.