Justice Tirath Singh Thakur, who is credited with cleaning up the country’s cricket administration that was left in shambles after the IPL spot fixing scam, took over as the 43rd Chief Justice of India on Thursday.
President Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath of office at a brief ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan this morning to the 63-year-old Thakur. He took over from Justice HL Dattu, who retired on Wednesday.
Justice Thakur will be at the helm for 13 months before retiring in January 2017 and has said the appointment of judges will be his biggest challenge.
Born in Batroo in the Ramban district of and Kashmir on January 4, 1952, Justice Thakur is known for his pragmatic approach and giving a patient hearing to every case listed before his bench.
Elevated to the top court on November 17, 2009, Justice Thakur’s bench ordered the setting up of the justice RM Lodha committee to suggest measures to make world’s richest cricket body – the Board of Control for Cricket in India - transparent and accountable in the wake of the Indian Premier League betting and spot fixing scam.
His bench ordered a CBI probe into the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam that brought much embarrassment to the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal.
He is also hearing bail applications of the accused in the multi-crore rupee National Rural Health Mission scam, in which former Uttar Pradesh minister Babu Singh Kushwaha is an accused.
Justice Thakur started his career at the Jammu and Kashmir chambers of his father and former governor of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, DD Thakur.
A litigator at heart, Justice Thakur managed matters related to a wide range of subjects including civil, criminal, taxation and constitutional cases. He practised largely out of the high court of Jammu & Kashmir.
In 1990, he was designated a senior advocate. Within four years, he followed his father’s footsteps and was appointed as an additional judge of the J-K high court on 16th February, 1994. A month later, he was transferred to the Karnataka high court.
Appreciated for his out-of-the-box but pragmatic approach to law, he was elevated to the Supreme Court in November 2009.
The ceremony was attended by cabinet ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, DV Sadananda Gowda, Harsh Vardhan, Smriti Irani, and senior BJP leader LK Advani attended the ceremony. Also present were the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress party leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, Delhi governor Najeeb Jung, and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Former Chief Justices H L Dattu, K G Balakrishnan, SH Kapadia, Rajendra Mal Lodha, in addition to the chief justices of various high courts, leading jurists Soli Sorabjee, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi were also present.