Justice Bilal Nazki, the Bombay High Court judge known for his wit and straight talk to government officials, has been elevated to the post of Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court (HC).
The 61-year-old will take charge on Saturday but will get only a few working days as he retires on November 18.
His last posting will give Nazki the rare distinction of being a judge who has served in all the four regions of the country — North (Jammu & Kashmir HC), South (Andhra Pradesh HC), West (Bombay HC) and now, the East.
“I can’t sit idle in my chamber after 12 pm,” he had said on his first day in the Bombay HC on January 7, 2008, slightly annoyed after a dozen lawyers sought adjournment.
Police and government departments started working on time fearing his whip.
Justice Nazki has a reputation for hauling up officers for not performing and making sharp observations without mincing words.
Five-year-old Sujal Chhug who was missing for over nine months was traced within 10 days of Justice Nazki summoning then Director General of Police S.S. Virk.
During his two-year tenure at the Bombay HC, he decided a number of cases including the acquittal of Allan Waters and Duncan Grant of paedophilia charges and of ‘Beer Man’ Ravi-ndra Kantrole of murder charges.
Justice Nazki transferred the probe in the custodial death of 22-year-old Altaf Shaikh to the Central Bureau of Investigation within five days of starting the hearing. He had even directed the demolition of illegal police chowkies, which encroached upon footpaths.
Born on November 18, 1947, at Srinagar, Justice Bilal Nazki graduated in law from Aligarh Muslim University in 1973 and the joined the Bar at Srinagar.
Justice Nazki grew up in a family of poets and writers. His father, Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki was a renowned poet who wrote fluently in Urdu, Kashmiri, Persian and Arabic.
Justice Nazki served as Justice and Acting Chief Justice at the Hyderabad High Court for nearly 10 years before his transfer to Mumbai in January 2008.