All the judges of the Supreme Court had come to resign against PM Nehru's decision!
All the judges of the Supreme Court had come to resign against PM Nehru's decision!

New Delhi: After partition and independence of the country, Justice Hiralal Jekisundas Kania became the first Chief Justice (CJI) of the Supreme Court. However, Justice Kania had not even completed 2 years as CJI that he died untimely on 6 November 1951. Justice Kania's sudden death raised a big question in front of the then Jawaharlal Nehru government that who would replace him?

Abhinav Chandrachud, son of famous advocate and current CJI DY Chandrachud, has made revelations in this regard in his book Supreme Whisperers. He writes that after the death of Justice Kania, there are 3 versions related to the appointment of a new CJI. The most credible version is that when Justice Kania died, the then Home Minister K.N. Katju first offered the CJI to the then Attorney General Motilal C. Setalvad. By that time, Setalvad had crossed the 65-year-old age set for retirement as a judge of the apex court. Attorney General Setalvad suggested to PM Jawaharlal Nehru to make Bombay High Court Chief Justice Chagla, who was also considered close to the government, as CJI.

PM Nehru wanted to make a Muslim judge CJI:

Abhinav Chandrachud further writes that PM Nehru wanted a Muslim judge to be made CJI, but after 2 years of partition, all the judges of the Supreme Court insisted on resigning on Nehru's decision. Their demand was that as per tradition after Justice Kania, the senior-most judge should be appointed CJI and Justice Patanjali Shastri was the senior-most judge at that time. But, the problem here was that, PM Nehru did not like Justice Shastri very much.

Pandit Nehru considered Justice Patanjali Shastri as a weak judge:

Former CJI Ranganath Mishra explains in an interview to American scholar George H. Godbois (Jr.) that Pandit Nehru considered Justice Shastri a weak judge and wanted someone strong like his daughter to sit on the post of CJI. Later, when all the judges of the Supreme Court started talking about resigning, Nehru was left with no option and he finally had to appoint Justice Patanjali Shastri as CJI.

Abhinav Chandrachud writes in his book Supreme Whisperers that there are two versions related to the CJI's appointment after Justice Kania's death. The second version is that when Justice Kania died, the post of CJI was offered to the third senior most judge Justice B.K. Mukherjea at that time. Abhinav writes that former CJI Hidayatullah also believes this version is correct. However, Justice Mukerjea himself did not agree to become CJI by bypassing his senior at that time.

Another version is also cited by former CJI B P Sinha. Justice Sinha says that Pandit Nehru did not want Justice Shastri to be the CJI because his tenure was less than 4 years left. Nehru wanted the CJI to have a tenure of at least 4 years. According to Justice Sinha, Nehru wanted SR Das, the fourth senior most judge of the Supreme Court, to become the CJI, but the matter could not be resolved. And finally, PM Nehru had to reluctantly appoint Justice Patanjali Shastri as CJI.  

19,000 farmers lands confiscated in Rajasthan, unable to repay loans

Many shocking revelations in the Saraswati murder case, the police revealed

Son gave painful death to his own mother, the reason is shocking

Join NewsTrack Whatsapp group
Related News