The courtrooom cast after presidential reference
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S H Kapadia
The law-clerk-who-rose-to-become-the-CJI, Justice Kapadia retired last week. A reformist, Kapadia will be remembered for judgments by his bench that went a long way towards providing a level playing field for foreign companies doing business in India. Cases in point are the Vodafone tax case and the Balco case dealing with arbitration involving foreign companies and their Indian partners/government.
D K Jain
Justice Jain, who retires in January next year, is the judge who authored the 145-page majority opinion that was delivered on Thursday. Jain, the third senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, was also part of the Constitution bench that decided the Balco case.
Jagdish Singh Khehar
The soft-spoken judge, who is in line to take over as country's first Sikh CJI in January 2017, is known for his grasp of constitutional issues. While the main part of the opinion in the presidential reference was authored by Justice Jain, Justice Khehar wrote a further 63 pages that, among various things, categorically said that "no part of the natural resource can be dissipated as a matter of largess, charity, donation or endowment, for private exploitation".
A former chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Gogoi is in line to succeed Justice Dipak Misra as CJI in October 2018, the first one from the Northeast.
A former chief justice of Delhi High Court, Justice Misra will be the CJI after Justice Khehar. He is currently part of the bench hearing the Koodankulam nuclear plant matter.
The Janata Party chief, who was one of the petitioners in the 2G case and argued in person, told the bench that the presidential reference was "yet another attempt to delay the implementation of the directions in the 2G case".