BIOGRAPHY OF MEHR CHAND MAHAJAN, CHIEF JUSTICE

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.”

                                                                       -Arthur Schonpenhauer.

This quote accurately defines the life journey of one of the chief justices of India Mehr Chand Mahajan, the only judge in Indian history who became a Prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir and occupied other prestigious positions and offices in this country. He lived a life that many don’t even think can be lived or achieved at that time.maybe because he was both talented and a real genius.

MEHR CHAND MAHAJAN, CHIEF JUSTICE

born23.December.1889At Tika NAgrota in Kangra district of Punjab.(nowadays Himachal Pradesh.)
parentageHis father was shri lala brij lal, an advocate.
qualificationAfter middle school, he went to study In Government college, Lahore and graduated in 1910.He joined M.Sc but switched to law and earned his LL.B degree in 1912.
Matrimonial relationsHe married his first wife in 1910 named Kesari Devi d/o Lala ni lal.After the death of first wife in 1921 he remarried in 1922.
childrenHe had 4 children from his first marriage.
Notable offices held by him during his life.He was the third chief justice of india.He was also appointed as the prime minister of Kashmir.

An Interesting anecdote if his childhood

Soon after his birth , he was declared as inauspicious and it was advised that his father must not see his face for 12 years. So he was sent to the Rajpur family of Mayya and Rugtu, whose son was without a child. His father called a conference of highly learned people to reconsider his child’s future. After a few days the council declared that the child was very lucky and would either become a judge or a minister. So he was brought back home at the age of 7.

PROFESSIONAL LIFE   

  1. Mahajan, chief justice, started his career as an advocate in 1913 in Dharmsala for a year only.
  2. For 4 years he practiced in Gurdaspur.
  3. From 1918 to 1943 he practiced law in lahore.
  4. He also served as president of the High Court Bar Association of Lahore from 1938 to 1943. 
  5. He was then elevated as judge of Punjab and Haryana High court in 1943.
  6. He was elevated as a supreme court judge on 4. October.1948 to 3. january.1954.
  7. He took the charge as the Third chief justice of supreme court of independent india on 4. January. 1954 and retired on 22. December. 1954.
He was the chief justice of India for 352 days only.

PRIME MINISTER OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR

Mahajan , chief justice visited Kashmir on the invitation of the Queen In september 1947. There he was offered the position of Prime minister of kashmir, which he accepted. On 15. October. 1947 he was appointed as the prime minister of Jammu and kashmir. He served on this post till 5.march.1948.

CONTRIBUTION AS PRIME MINISTER

He played a notable and memorable role in uniting J&K with india. J&K merged with India in october 1947. That was not only a huge achievement for him professionally but also for India geographically.  He was always in a strong favor of J&K being a part of independent india.

MAHARASHTRA -KARNATAKA BORDER DISPUTE  

There was an area by the name of Belgaum city on the border of two states. Maharashtra claimed it as more than 50% natives are marathi speakers. But karnataka was not ready to give it. 

So  a committee was formed on this matter in 1967 and he chaired the committee and put forward the report in favor of Karnataka. But the issue still prevails in south india.

OTHER OFFICES HE HELD 

YearOffice
1933-43President of DAV college, management committee.
1940-47Fellow and syndicate, Punjab university.
1945All India Fruit Products Association Bombay Session.
1946Member of RIN Rebellion commission.
1947Punjab Border commission
1947-50Syndicate, East Punjab university.
1948Constitutional adviser to the maharaja of Bikaner.

PUBLICATION

He wrote his autobiography titled: 

           Looking back : the autobiography of Mehr Chand Mahajan.

DEATH

He died on 5th april 1967 at the age of 77.

LANDMARK  JUDGEMENTS HE DELIVERED IN HIS LIFE

     Bharat bank ltd. Delhi v. Employees of the Bharat Bank Limited 

                                                       Delhi

                                                1950 SCR 459

A 3 judge bench heard the matter that whether the Award of industrial tribunal is appealable under article 136 of constitution. The majority of the view was that there was no ground for admitting appeal but mahajan, justice was of the opinion that award was bad and must be set aside.

                                   Brij bhushan v. the State of Delhi

                                                 1950 SCR 605

The supreme court upheld the liberty of press and said that the pre-censorship violates the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression under article 19(1)(a).

         Dwarkadas Shrinivas v. Sholapur spinning and weaving co. 

                                                        ltd.

                                                 1954 SCR 674

Sholapur spinning and weaving company limited(emergency provisions) Ordinance 2 of 1950 was repealed by Act 28 of 1950. Its validity was challenged under Article 31 as well as under article 19.

The honorable court held that the Act violates Article 31 as the authorities were deprived of the company’s property without any payment of compensation.

PARTING WORDS 

Mahajan, chief justice lived a life that many can and achieve the success that many thought is not even possible. His success inspires others. He was an advocate, president of bar, judge , chief justice and even the prime minister of a state. Thibaut said, “Mediocrity always measures success by money.” but as far as the life of mahajan, justice was concerned he lived by the quote of

“Your calendar is a better measure of success than your bank account.”

                                                                                -James Clear.

Ever since he completed his education there was not even a single year in his life when he was not on any prestigious seat or position.

“This article is written by Daman preet kaur, pursuing law from ,punjabi university, patiala.”

BIBLIOGRAPHY

www.scconline.com

en.m.wikipedia.org

hpgeneralstudies.com

theindianparadise.in

Image Source: Wikiquote

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