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Justice Altamas Kabir is new 39th Chief Justice of India

Justice Altmas Kabir, the seniormost judge of the Supreme Court, was on 29 September, 2012 sworn in as the 39th Chief Justice of India.
He was administered the oath of the office by President Pranab Mukherjee.

As CJI, Justice Kabir has less than a year as he retires on July 18, 2013. But many hope that he could utilize the brief tenure to making judiciary more litigant-friendly: perhaps not an unreasonable expectation, considering CJI's amiability. His experience as chairman of National Legal Aid Services Authority, which devises practices to make justice accessible to the poor, could help.

His amiability helped Justice Kabir deal with situations where the litigants became unruly and went on to berate judiciary for corruption in its ranks.

His ancestors came from an affluent Bengali Muslim family in Faridpur, now in Bangladesh. Although his father Jehangir Kabir was also influential in Bengal politics, the clan was made famous more by his uncle, Humanyun Kabir, a renowned academic.

His branch of the clan chose to migrate to India after the partition in 1947. Justice Kabir, who was born on July 19, 1948, is known for his patience: a trait which helps him engage better with lawyers and litigant.

As a lawyer, he practiced law, beginning 1973, in district courts and, then, in Calcutta High Court. He became a Judge of Calcutta HC on August 6, 1990.

In March, 2005, Justice Kabir became Chief Justice of Jharkhand HC. Six months later, he was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court. Justice Kabir's wife Minna is a child right activist and their two children, too, have studied law.

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