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All you need to know about VS Sirpurkar, the retired SC judge probing Telangana encounter deaths 

Sirpurkar's team includes a retired judge of the Bombay High Court Rekha Baldota and a former CBI director DR Karthikeyan.

Published: 13th December 2019 03:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th December 2019 05:38 PM   |  A+A-

Justice VS Sirpurkar

Justice VS Sirpurkar (Photo | YouTube Screengrab)

By Online Desk

The Supreme Court has appointed a three-member inquiry commission headed by former apex court judge V S Sirpurkar to inquire into the circumstances leading to the encounter killing of the four accused in the gang-rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad.

Sirpurkar's team includes a retired judge of the Bombay High Court Rekha Baldota and a former CBI director DR Karthikeyan. The commission will produce its inquiry report before the court within six months. 

Here's all you need to know about Justice Sirpurkar.

Legal practice started in Nagpur

Justice Sirpurkar started practising law in the High Court of Nagpur. Thereafter, he was selected as the secretary and joint secretary of the High Court Bar Association. He was then elected twice as a member of the Maharashtra Bar Council in 1985 and 1991. 

Judge in Bombay and Madras High Courts

Justice Sirpurkar started his career as a Judge of the Bombay High Court in 1992 and was later transferred to the Madras High Court in December 1997. 

Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court

He was elevated as Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court. He held this post from 19 March to 25 July 2004. During this time he started the Judicial Academy 'Ujala'. He was also a member of the Bar Council's Legal Education Committee in New Delhi.

Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court

After his transfer from Uttaranchal on 20 March 2005, he held the post of Chief Justice in the Calcutta High Court. He started the Judicial Academy in West Bengal. Subsequently, he was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court on 12 January 2007. 

Retired in 2011

On August 21, 2011, Justice Sirpurkar retired as a Supreme Court judge at the age of 65. 

Landmark decisions

Justice Sirpurkar took many important decisions during his tenure of four and a half years in the apex court. He was part of the bench that issued landmark verdicts on criminal jurisprudence along with issues relating to the Constitution, human rights, taxation and service laws.

Mohammed Arif mercy plea

A few days before his retirement, Justice Sirpurkar upheld the mercy plea of Pakistani citizen Mohammed Arif who was convicted in the terrorist attack on the Red Fort in Delhi on 10 August 2001. 

Honour killing case

In a case of honour killing of a girl by her brother in December 2009, Justice Sirpurkar had reduced the death sentence to life imprisonment (25 years for two accused and 20 years for another one).

Pulled up Kerala government

Justice Sirpurkar had pulled up the Kerala government over the liquor issue. Sirpurkar had served notice to the state government on the nexus between politicians and officials which was allowing the spurious liquor trade to flourish at the cost of the health of the poor.

Contribution to Tamil Nadu

As the senior judge, he held the post of Executive Chairman of the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority. 

He was instrumental in establishing a judicial academy in the State of Tamil Nadu during his tenure as a judge and executive chairman of State Legal Services Authority. Wherever he was appointed as the Chief Justice, he established similar judicial academies there.

Madras High Court Advocates Association president G Mohanakrishnan recalls the several important judgments delivered by Justice Sirpurkar. He was fond of Tamil Nadu State and Tamil language. He added that the judge was known for his speedy disposal of cases.

A judge from a family of lawyers

Sirpurkar was born on 22 August 1946. He finished his matriculation from a school in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. Later, he completed his graduation from Morris College, Nagpur in 1966. Then he obtained a law degree from University College of Law, Nagpur. All his family members -- father, mother, sister, son, wife and brother -- are also lawyers by profession.

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