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Sarosh Homi Kapadia (29 September 1947 – 4 January 2016)

Sarosh Homi Kapadia was the thirty-eighth Chief Justice of India.
Justice Kapadia was born in a Parsi family in Mumbai, on September 29, 1947.  He graduated from
Government Law College, Mumbai. He started his career as a class IV employee and later became a law clerk in a lawyer's office in Mumbai. He joined Gagrat & Co., a law firm, as a clerk and later went on to work with Feroze Damania who was a highly respected "firebrand" labour lawyer. He later joined as an advocate in the Bombay High Court on 10 September 1974.

He was appointed as an additional judge of the Bombay High Court on 8 October 1991 and on 23 March 1993 he was appointed as a permanent judge. On 5 August 2003 he became the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court. On 18 December 2003 he was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court. On 12 May 2010 he was sworn in as the Chief Justice of India by the then President Pratibha Patil. He retired on September 29, 2012.

During this tenure as a SupremeCourt Judge, he was involved in a total of 834 judgments and orders, having authored 262 of these.

Notable Judgments

In Vodafone International Holdings v. Union of India, it was held that Indian tax authorities did not have territorial jurisdiction to tax offshore transactions.

In M. Nagaraj v. Union of India, he was a part of the Constitution Bench which held that each state will have to show the existence of compelling reasons, namely, backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficiency before making provision for reservation. It was also held that the state is not bound to make reservations in promotions.

On March 3, 2011, a three-member bench headed by Kapadia in Centre for PIL & Anr. v. Union of India & Anr., quashed the appointment of Chief Vigilance Commissioner, P.J. Thomas, made by the High Power Committee comprising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj (dissenting).

In Confederation of Ex-Servicemen Associates and Ors. v. Union of India, he was a part of the Bench that ensured ex servicemen and their dependents of their right to receive full and free lifelong medical care, provided a one-time contribution is made to ECHS.

In BP Singhal v. Union of India, he was part of the Constitution Bench that interpreted Article 156
of the Constitution to hold that even though the Governor holds office at the pleasure of the President, he cannot be dismissed arbitrarily or if his ideologies do not match those of the government in power.

He was a part of the nine Judge bench in I.R. Coelho v. State of Tamil Nadu & Ors., wherein the Court held that the Constitutional validity of the Ninth Schedule laws could be adjudged by applying the direct impact and effect test, which requires that it is not the form of a law, but its effect, that would be the determinative factor.

In another valiant stance in 2006, he refused to entertain an appeal by Lalu Prasad Yadav in the Fodder Scam.

He died in Mumbai on January 4, 2016

"I am proud to be an Indian. India is the only country where a member of the minority Parsi community with a population of 1,67,000, like myself, can aspire to attain the post of the Chief Justice of India. These things do not happen in our neighbouring countries" - Chief Justice Kapadia speaking at the 2012 Independence Day celebrations in the Supreme Court.

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