Justice Arun Mishra’s tenure ends today, a look at his tenure.

(Judicial Quest News Network)

Justice Arun Mishra retires today after more than six years

Since he took over as SC judge in July 2014—-after serving in Madhya Pradesh High Court and Chief Justice in Rajasthan and Calcutta—Justice Mishra heard some of the most contested and politically sensitive cases assigned to the bench presided by him or of which he was a part.

Justice Mishra authored 132 judgements during his tenure.

Sahara-Birla Diaries to the Haren Pandya mysterious murder case; the medical college bribery case to the amendments to the Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes(Prevention of Atrocities Act); the mess in the CBI at the Top; Sanjiv Bhatt (IPS) case to Judge D.H.Loya;Rajasthan’s Political Crises to the Wire Vs Jay Shah;Habeas Corpus to the anticipatory bail pleas of activist in the  Bhima Koregaon case.

This led to criticism of not just justice Mishra but the CJIs who kept assigning cases to him-the high-water mark of which he was no doubt the unprecedented press conference by four senior judges of the apex court in January 2018.

In December 2017, when medical college bribery case set off difficult days for the then CJI Dipak Mishra, the plea seeking probe was dealt with and dismissed by the justice Arun Mishra Bench. The storm over the case had led to a heated debate over the power of CJI to allocate a case as “master of the roster”

Justice Mishra was also the part of the bench constituted when allegations of sexual misconduct were raised against former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

In early 2019, when a tussle ensued in CBI and the Government appointed IPS officer. Nagehswar Rao as an interim director, it was again Justice Mishra-led Bench which heard and dismissed petitions challenging this.

Justice Arun Mishra has served under seven CJIs, of whom three were in the Supreme Court collegium which picked him for elevation from the high court in 2014.These were Justices Lodha, H.L.Dattu and T.S Thakur. Justices B.S Chauhan and C.K Prasad were the other members of the collegium which recommended him for elevation to the Supreme Court. The other CJI, s under whom he served  are JusticesJ.S.Khehar,Dipak Mishra, Ranjan Gogoi and SA Bobde.

Born on September 3rd, 1955, B.Sc. M.A. L.L.B. Son of Justice H.G.Mishra, Judge,  M.P.High Court.Called to the Bar in 1978. Practised in constitutional, civil, industrial, service and criminal matters.

Elected as youngest Chairman of Bar Council of India (1998-99). Also, Vice-Chairman of BCI and M.P. State Bar Council. Elected to Bar Council of M.P. with record votes in 1989 and 1995.In the Bar Council, he worked for improvement of legal education.

He co-chaired All India Meet of Development of Law curriculum which introduced 3- and 5-year courses of LL.B. in the year 1998-1999 in order to improve the quality of legal education.

During his Chairmanship, Bar Council of India decided to close the evening Law Colleges and also decided that 5-year Law Course should be started instead of 3 years Course in all the colleges.

More than two hundred sub-standard law colleges were closed by BCI, and to maintain dignity of profession, a large number of disciplinary cases were decided. Also, amount of medical aid to lawyers was enhanced.

Drafted and implemented Foreign Law Degree Recognition Rules of 1997 under Advocates’ Act, 1961; Bar Council of India Employees’ Service Rules,1996 and Rules pertaining to Foreign Lawyers Conditions of Practice in India.

Remained Chairman of General Council of National Law School of India University, Bangalore, from 15.5.1998 to 24.10.1999 and continues to be a Member.

Led Indian Bar delegation to the Common wealth Law Conference of “Common Wealth Countries” held at ‘Malaysia’ in September, 1999 and chaired one Session there.

Was appointed Judge of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh on October 25, 1999.

Was Administrative judge of Madhya Pradesh High Court, and Chairman, State Legal Services Authority of Madhya Pradesh.

Appointed as the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court on 26.11.2010.

Appointed as the Chief Justice of the High Court at Calcutta on 14.12.2012.

Has decided approx. 97000 cases as Judge of High Courts of M.P./Rajasthan/Calcutta.

Elevated as a Judge, Supreme Court of India on 07.07.2014.

Justice Mishra is the son of Justice H.G. Mishra of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

He practiced constitutional, civil, industrial, service and criminal law matters. He served as the Vice Chairman of the Madhya Pradesh State Bar Council and the Bar Council of India.

In 1998, he became the youngest Chairman of the Bar Council of India. During his tenure, the Bar Council decided to shut down evening law colleges, and institute the 5-year undergraduate course instead of the 3-year course.

Over 200 law colleges were shut down for being sub-standard and a large number of disciplinary cases were decided to maintain the dignity of the profession.

The medical aid to lawyers was enhanced. Justice Mishra also drafted and implemented the Foreign Law Degree Recognition Rules, 1997 under the Advocates Act of 1961, the Bar Council of India Employees’ Service Rules, 1996 and rules pertaining to foreign lawyers’ practice in India.

On 25 October, 1999 Justice Mishra was appointed as a Judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. During this time, he also served as the Chairman of the Madhya Pradesh State Legal Services Authority. In 2010 Justice Mishra was appointed as the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court. On 14 December, 2012 he was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court.

On 1 January, 2019 Justice Mishra joined the Collegium. He is presently its 4th senior member.

Notable Judgements


Wildlife First v. Ministry of Forest and Environment

In February, a three judge Bench comprising Justices Mishra, Banerjee and Sinha ordered the eviction of tribals and forest dwellers whose claims over land were rejected under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights Act), 2006. The order was considered to affect nearly 1 million families and the court stayed its order after sharp criticism.

In Re: Matter of Great Public Importance touching upon the Independence of Judiciary Justice Mishra is a member of the three judge bench examining claims that the sexual harassment allegations against the Chief Justice of India were fabricated as part of a larger conspiracy to undermine the judiciary’s independence.


Partap Singh Bajwa v. Chairman Rajya Sabha

A five-judge bench was constituted to decide if the Rajya Sabha Chairman’s rejection of an Impeachment Motion against the then Chief Justice is subject to judicial review. The petitioners withdrew their petition by objecting to the Chief Justice constituting the bench in a matter that concerned him.


Common Cause v. Union of India

A division bench of Justices Mishra and Roy rejected a NGO’s demand for criminal investigation into the ‘Sahara-Birla’ Diary for alleged large payments to politicians.

Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms v. Union of India

A Constitution Bench ruled that the Chief Justice is the ‘Master of the Roster’ and enjoys absolute power to decide bench strength and composition. This negated Justice Chelameswar’s order directing the formation of a Constitution bench in the Orissa Medical College scam.

Tracked Cases

CJI Impeachment Case

Azam Khan – Freedom of Speech and Expression

Legality of SC/ST Act Amendment

Eviction of Forest Dwellers

Sexual Harassment & the CJI

Land Acquisition

Scheduled Castes & Preferential Treatment

Election Commission Appointments

Contempt Petition Against Prashant Bhushan

Constitutionality of Criminal Contempt.

He delivered his last judgement in Ujjain’s Mahakaleshwar temple Case and said “Shiv-ji Ki Kiroa Sey Yeh Akhri judgement Bhi Hoo gaya” (The final judgment has been delivered by the grace of lord Shiva).

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