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War Crimes and Refugee Status Research Workshop

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Justice Markandey Katju

The Hon. Justice Markandey Katju

Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi, India

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Markandey Katju was born on 20-9-1946 .  He obtained first division in every examination he appeared for, from Senior Cambridge to LL.B.  He stood first in the merit list in LL.B from Allahabad University in 1967.  Thereafter, he practiced law in the Allahabad High Court specializing in Labour Law, Taxation and Writ Petitions.  He has worked as Standing Counsel, Income Tax Department. He has also served as a Member, International Association of Refugee Law Judges (IARIJ) and attended conference in Switzerland from 23rd to 28th October 2000 and various law related conferences in Delhi and elsewhere.  

He was elevated to the Bench of Allahabad   High Court in 1991, and since then has given several landmark judgments. He was appointed Acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court in August 2004, Chief Justice of Madras High Court in November 2004, and Chief Justice of Delhi High Court in October 2005.

Hon’ble  Mr. Justice Markandey Katju is keenly interested in academics, and has a wide range of interests, including Sanskrit, Urdu, History, Philosophy, Science, Sociology etc. apart from his interest in jurisprudence.  He has written several books, such as ‘Law in the Scientific Era’, ‘Interpretation of Taxing Statutes’ and ‘Domestic Enquiry’.  His study of diverse subjects is reflected in his judgments, which are often unconventional and path breaking.

Hon’ble  Mr. Justice Markandey Katju is the son of late Justice S.N.Katju, who was a former Judge of Allahabad High Court, and the grand son of late Dr K.N.Katju, former Union Home and Defence Minister, Governor of West Bengal and Orissa and Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. His uncle Justice B.N.Katju was Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court.

Hon’ble  Mr. Justice Markandey Katju has got passionate love for Indian culture and his keen desire to unearth and bring to light the great intellectual achievements of our ancestors was the main motivating force in bringing out the book “Mimansa Rules of Interpretation”.   Hon’ble Mr. Justice Markandey Katju has pointed out in his lecture and articles (which have been published in Part I of the Mimansa Rules of Interpretation) that Mimansa Rules of Interpretation were one of the greatest and most remarkable achievements of our ancestors, but about which even the educated Indians are wholly ignorant today.

As Chief Justice of Madras High Court, he gave a landmark judgment, Rama Muthuramalingam v. Dy.S.P, AIR  2005 Madras 1, on the constitutional question of inter se relationship between the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive in which His Lordship emphasized on judicial restraint and the impropriety of the judiciary encroaching onto the legislative or executive domain.  His speech at the first anniversary of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court in which he said that the people have a right to criticize the judiciary as the people were supreme in a democracy, and all authorities including Judges were servants of the people, was hailed by Mr. Fali Nariman, the doyen of the bar, in a centre spread article in ‘Indian Express’.

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Markandey Katju was Elevated to Supreme Court on 10th April, 2006 and due to retire on 20th Sept, 2011.