NEW DELHI: Supreme Court judge Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant retired today after a tenure of little over three years, bringing the vacancies in the apex court to six.
Justice Pant, who became a Supreme Court judge on August 13, 2014, was one of the few judges to have been elevated to the apex court from the lower judiciary.
With his retirement, the strength of the Supreme Court has come down to 25 judges from 31, including the Chief Justice of India. A Supreme Court judge retires at the age of 65 years.
During his tenure in the top court, Justice Pant became a part of various historical and path-breaking judgements.
He was a part of the bench which held a midnight hearing upholding the death sentence of Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon.
Justice Pant was also part of a bench which had upheld the constitutional validity of the criminal defamation law, saying that the Right to Life under Article 21 includes right to reputation.
In another judgement, a bench comprising him and Chief Justice Dipak Misra had ruled against any move to strike a so-called 'compromise' between a rapist and the rape survivor.
Justice Pant was enrolled at the Bar in 1973. He entered the Uttar Pradesh Judicial Service in the year 1976 through UP Munsif Examination, 1973.
Thereafter, he was promoted to Uttar Pradesh Higher Judicial Service in 1990 and joined as Additional District Judge in District Bahraich. He also worked as Joint Registrar in High Court of Allahabad.
After creation of Uttarakhand, he was the first Secretary (Judicial) of the State. He also held the post of District and Sessions Judge at Nainital before being posted as Registrar General of High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital.
He was appointed as Additional Judge of High Court of Uttarakhand in June 2004, and became a permanent judge in February 2008. He was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya in September 2013 before being elevated to the Supreme Court on August 13, 2014.