S. H. Kapadia, the upright CJI
When the heart is impeccably honest and the brain follows it, we get a person like Sarosh Homi Kapadia, the present Chief Justice of India (CJI). By his own confession, we come to know that Kapadia is blessed with only one asset that is ‘integrity’. Not surprising at all hearing from him that he commenced his career as a class four employee and then reached the most respected post of CJI in India through honesty, integrity, uprightness, and of course acquired professional knowledge.
He is first CJI in India born after the country got independence on 15 August 1947. His date of birth is 29 September 1947 barely a month and half later than the independence. This son of a defence clerk in Mumbai was born in the same city in a lower middle class family. He married Shahnaz and the couple has one son and one daughter.
Being the head of the Supreme Court bench that conducted the case of the controversial appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner of P J Thomas by the three members committee consisting the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Home Minister P Chidambaram, and the leader of the opposition BJP’s Sushma Swaraj, he announced the verdict quashing the appointment of Thomas creating unprecedented history in judiciary in India. This judgment directly implicated the head of the government and one of his powerful colleagues, which has been assessed by the media as the most courageous show of corruption free mind.
He started his law career as a law clerk in Gagrat & Co, and then moved to work with a firebrand labor lawyer Feroze Damania. He joined the Bombay High Court as an advocate on 10 September 1974. His appointment in additional judge post came on 8 October 1991, which became permanent judge 0n 23 March 1993. Almost ten and half years he was in this post before being appointed as the Chief Justice of Uttaranchal High Court on 5 August 2003. Within next five months he was made a judge of the country’s highest court that is Supreme Court. Finally on 12th may 2010 he was sworn in as the Chief Justice of India by the President of India.
According to two colleagues of Kapadia at various places, Kapadia is honest to the core, very punctual, and extremely sincere in his work. These two colleagues are J P Cama and Sudhir Talsania. Reading was his passion and he still maintains it.
His son Hoshnar is a chartered accountant and daughter is Tenaaz. His only younger brother is a retired employee of a bank.