1st Justice to get Z-category cover

Dipak Mishra Is The 1st SC Judge Provided With Z-Category Cover

Justice Dipak Misra succeeded Justice J S Khehar on Monday to become the 45th Chief Justice of India, and the first to have Z-category security cover. He will have a tenure of a little over a year, and retire on October 2 next year.

On July 30, 2015, in a predawn hearing, a Justice Misra-headed bench had rejected 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon’s last-gasp plea for the commutation of his death penalty. Shortly thereafter, an anonymous threat letter was thrown into Misra’s official residence, necessitating ‘Z’-category security.

The cover remains in place, and he is the only SC judge to use a bullet-proof Ambassador car with a police escort. Soft-spoken, Misra sports a smile that disarms the most cantankerous litigant.

Benches headed by him have upheld the constitutional validity of Section 499 and 500 of the IPC, providing for criminal defamation proceedings, and also death penalty for convicts in the Nirbhaya case.

As chairman of National Legal Services Authority, he displayed concern for poor prisoners by introducing several measures to provide them with free legal aid. Recently, he had ordered the introduction of video conferencing at state legal services authorities to connect them to jails to provide free legal aid to poor prisoners.

Born on October 3, 1953, Justice Misra is the third person from Odisha to become CJI, after his paternal uncle Justice Ranganath Misra (1990-91) and Justice G B Pattanaik (2002). His judgments reflect his literary and poetic skills, which he appears to have inherited from his grandfather, the celebrated Odia poet Pandit Godabarish Misra. Pandit Misra had three sons — Raghunath, Ranganath and Loknath, the last a renowned Congress leader and governor of Assam from 1991 to 1997.
After his retirement, Justice Ranganath Misra, who had headed an inquiry commission into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, became a Congress MP in the Rajya Sabha.
Justice Dipak Misra enrolled as an advocate in 1977.He was appointed as an additional judge of the Orissa HC on January 17, 1996, and transferred to the Madhya Pradesh HC on March 3, 1997. He became a permanent judge on December 19, 1997. Misra became chief justice of the Patna HC on December 23, 2009 and was transferred as CJ of the Delhi HC on May 24, 2010. He was appointed as an SC judge on October 10, 2011.
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