Sarosh Homi Kapadia, the thirty-eighth Chief Justice of India passed away on 4th January, 2016. He is the first CJI born in the independent India and he has set some really high standards of judicial conduct. His life journey was simple with a humble beginning who worked hard enough to reach the highest post in the Indian judiciary. His energy and will to do something good in life, made things fall in place. He worked tirelessly for about 22 years, without any leave. This shows his determination towards his work.
Kapadia was born Mumbai and graduated from Government Law College of Mumbai which is one of the oldest in Asia. He was married to Shahnaz. They have a son and a daughter. He was a man who had vivid interest about things, be it economics, public finance, theoretical physics, Hindu or Buddhist philosophies.
As far as career is concerned, Kapadia’s career started as a class IV employee. Later, he joined as a law clerk in a lawyer’s office, then a law firm, Garat & Co. Soon after this, he started working with Feroze Damania, a highly respected and well known labour lawyer. In 1974, he joined the Bombay High Court as an advocate.
He became the additional judge of Bombay High Court in 1991 and by 1993; he became the permanent judge there. He was appointed as the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, in 2003. Later that year, he became the judge of the Supreme Court. He was sworn in as the Chief Justice of India by the then President, Pratibha Patel, on May 12, 2010. On September 29, 2012, he finally retired. He was also the General Council of the Gujarat National Law University and was also the visitor of the National Law School of India University.
One of the most notable judgments made by Kapadia was the quashing of the appointment of P J Thomas, the Central Vigilance Commissioner. Kapadia headed a three-member bench which was made by the High Power Committee which included the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, the then Home Minister P Chidambaram and Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Oppostion. The judgment caused an utter embarrassment for the Government and the Prime Minister was made to accept the error in appointment. S. M. Murshed, the former IAS officer wrote, 'the ratio decidendi of the Hon’ble Supreme Court is a bit difficult to comprehend, for, in the last analysis, the entire case against Thomas rested on a solitary, misconceived FIR which was filed as an afterthought and which should never have been filed. Given the facts, Manmohan Singh did no substantive wrong and he did not commit any error (in appointing Thomas).'
Next eye boggling judgment made by him was Lalu Prasad Yadav’s bail cancellation. Supreme Court’s three member bench included Kapadia. The verdict was by majority in favour of Lalu Prasad and his wife, the former Chief Minister of Bihar but Kapadia gave a dissenting judgment. He said that it was income tax department’s duty to file an appeal against the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) order.
Illness and death
Kapadia suffered from a cardiac arrest and breathed his last on 4th January, 2016. His funeral was held according to the Parsi tradition at 'Tower of Silence' at Kemps Corner, South Mumbai. His last rites were attended by the judges and the staffs of the High Court.
Pranab Mukherjee: As a judge and the Chief Justice of India, he made immense contribution to the development of jurisprudence. He will remain an inspiration for the members of legal fraternity,
Kindly accept my heartfelt condolences and convey the same to other members of your family. I pray to the Almighty to give you and your family the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss
Arun Jaitley: I am saddened by the demise of former CJI SH Kapadia, a legal luminary. Who set the highest standards of ethics, integrity & hard work
Hamid Ansari: remarkable legal acumen and sense of justice
possessed remarkable legal acumen and sense of justice and his departure leaves a large void.
(FAN OF Mr. SAROSH HOMI KAPADIA)
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