Justice Dipak Misra on Monday sworn-in as the 45th Chief Justice of India (CJI) and will complete a tenure of almost 14 months, remaining at helm till October 2, 2018. Last month, JS Khehar, the outgoing Chief Justice of India had recommended Misra’s name as his successor.
Misra, who was born in a small town in Odisha, has come a long way from being a struggler in English language to being a top-level judge in the Supreme Court.
A known name in the law circles, Misra pronounced many key verdicts following which he grabbed wide media attention and also drew flak for a few decisions.
Misra led the three-judge bench which dismissed the plea of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon seeking a stay on his execution. Misra doctored the landmark judgement that confirmed the death penalty of four convicts in May 2017 in the Nirbhaya gangrape case.
One of Misra’s noteworthy decisions included directing all States and Union Territories to upload the FIRs on their websites within 24 hours of registration at police stations.
Misra drew flak after he ordered that it will be mandatory for all cinema halls to play national anthem before the start of every movie. He also ordered that patrons should stand up in respect and "committed patriotism and nationalism" when National Anthem and also National Flag are featured in the theatres.
In upholding the constitutionality of the 150-year-old law on criminal defamation, Misra played a crucial role. He was one of the seven judges of the Supreme Court who convicted Justice CS Karnan of contempt of court. The seven-judge bench had sentenced Karnan to six months in jail.
Misra-led Bench in 2015 had set aside the ban on dance bars under the Maharashtra Police Act. Misra, who was born in a family of intellects, jurists and politicians, had always shown inclinaton towards the law. He mastered himself in English even as he studied in an Oriya-medium school. On February 14, 1977, he enrolled as an advocate. In 1996, he rose up to the ranks of additional judge of the Orissa High Court. A year later, he was transferred to Madhya Pradesh.
He has practised in Constitutional, Civil, Criminal, Revenue, Service and Sales Tax matters in the Orissa High Court and the Service Tribunal.
He was appointed as the chief justice of the Patna High Court in 2009 and in 2010 went onto head Delhi High Court. In 2011, he was elevated to the Supreme Court.