Justice Altamas Kabir was on Saturday sworn in as the 39th Chief Justice of India replacing Justice SH Kapadia, who retired after heading the country's judiciary for nearly two-and-a-half years.
The fourth Muslim CJI, 64-year-old Justice Kabir is the nephew of former union minister Humayun Kabir, who served in the cabinet of three prime ministers — Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi. His father Jahangir Kabir too was a West Bengal minister in the late 1960s.
President Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath of office to Justice Kabir at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence several dignitaries.
Due to retire on July 19 next year, he will have a 10-month tenure. He attended Mount Hermon School in Darjeeling and Calcutta Boys School before graduating in history from Presidency College. He obtained his LL.B and MA degrees from University of Calcutta.
Justice Kabir is known to be a compassionate person with a soft corner for weaker sections of society. Respected for giving a patient hearing, he encourages young lawyers and is the last judge to leave the court premises in the evening.
During his stint at the SC, Justice Kabir has delivered many important verdicts. He led the bench which held that even after being removed or suspended from a party, an MP can continue to be an MP and participate in parliamentary proceedings and vote in the House.
Justice Kabir will decide on many key cases including a contempt case against advocate Prashant Bhushan and a plea by SP chief Mulayam Yadav seeking review of the SC's order for a CBI probe into alleged disproportionate assets case. The order is awaited.