Justice Dipak Misra (born 3 October 1953) is the Judge of the Supreme Court from Odisha and the 45th Chief Justice of India. He is the 45th Chief Justice of India (CJI), succeeding the 44th CJI, Justice J. S. Khehar. He is a judge of the Supreme Court of India and a former Chief Justice of the Patna and Delhi High Courts. He’s the nephew of Justice Ranganath Misra, who was the 21st CJI during 1990-91. A liberal free thinker, Justice Misra advocates freedom for women, including the freedom to dance in dance bars, but is queasy about money being thrown at the dancers. . He was enrolled as an Advocate on 14th February, 1977 and Practiced in Constitutional, Civil, Criminal, Revenue, Service and Sales Tax matters in the Orissa High Court and the Service Tribunal. He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court on 17th January, 1996 and transferred to the Madhya Pradesh High Court on 03rd March, 1997. He became permanent Judge on 19th December, 1997. Justice Misra assumed charge of the office of Chief Justice, Patna High Court on 23rd December, 2009 and charge of the office of the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court on 24th May, 2010. Elevated as a Judge, Supreme Court of India w.e.f. 10.10.2011.
Even the lawyers concede that Justice Misra knows his literature, philosophy and history. His tales in the court from the Shastras are legendary.
Justice Misra’s courtroom is always jam-packed: one is sure of a decision soon enough. He is quick to grasp the nuances of any complicated case and is equally adept at handling tricky situations.
Justice Misra enrolled at the Bar on 14 February 1977 and practiced at the Orissa High Court and the Service Tribunal. He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court in 1996 and was later transferred the following year to the Madhya Pradesh High Court, where he was made a Permanent Judge on 19 December 1997. In December 2009, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Patna High Court and served until May 2010, when he was appointed Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. He served in the latter capacity until his elevation to the Supreme Court on 10 October 2011.
Justice Misra has a tenure of almost seven years at the Supreme Court and has been appointed the 45th Chief Justice of India from 28 August 2017 till 2 October 2018, the day he retires on turning 65 years in age.
Justice Misra’s passed judgment in the Own Motion vs State case, requiring Delhi Police to upload FIRs on their website within 24 hours of the FIRs being lodged, in order to enable the accused to file appropriate applications before the court for redressal of their grievances.
In a case on Reservation in the promotion, Justice Misra and Justice Dalveer Bhandari upheld the Allahabad High Court judgement that reservation in promotions can be provided only if there is sufficient data and evidence to justify the need. The bench rejected the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to provide reservation in promotion on the ground that it failed to furnish sufficient valid data.
Justice Misra led the bench which rejected the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon’s appeal to stop his execution. He then received a death threat in writing, an anonymous letter which says “irrespective of the protection you may avail, we will eliminate you.” He has been assigned high security following death threats after he upheld the capital punishment for a mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.
Justice Mishra was part of the bench that ordered playing of the National anthem before screening of films. In a few days, a bench headed by the 63-year-old judge will start hearing the vexed issue of Ayodhya title dispute.
A three judge bench led by Justice Misra has upheld the death sentence awarded to the four convicts of the Nirbhaya rape case on 5th May, 2017.
Justice Misra authored the landmark judgement confirming the death penalty of four convicts in the brutal Nirbhaya gangrape 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder case which shook the nation and spurred the genesis of a stringent anti-rape law. In his verdict, Justice Misra termed the convicts as those who “found an object for enjoyment in her… for their gross, sadistic and beastly pleasures… for the devilish manner in which they played with her dignity and identity is humanly inconceivable”.
He had upheld constitutionality of criminal defamation. He was also part of the Bench of the Supreme Court’s seven senior most judges who convicted then Calcutta High Court judge C. S. Karnan, of contempt of court and sentenced him to six months’ imprisonment.