Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, the 44th Chief Justice of India (CJI), is well-known for his verdicts. However, very few people know that the man is also quite a humanitarian in his approach and has been a regular blood donor all his life – the discipline with which he approaches this task is exemplary. Every three months he visits the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and donates blood – the hospital is perpetually short of this much-in-demand commodity. Justice Khehar has been following this noble cause for over four decades. Justice Khehar who was on Wednesday sworn in as the CJI in an oath ceremony administered by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan will hold the office for over 7 months till August 27 next.
While the verdicts of Justice Khehar always hit the headlines, his quarterly blood donations have remained under wraps and was known only to a small group of friends and colleagues. Speaking about it, lawyers in Chandigarh told the Indian Express that blood donation is a mission for Justice Khehar. They said, he never missed blood donation camps organised by the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association. However, his dedication to donate blood never came in between his work as within minutes of donating he would be back on the bench, dispensing justice, said a senior lawyer in Punjab and Haryana High Court.
His dedication to work was also exemplified by the incident when he held court just a day after her father’s demise, recalled the people who follow his career.
Talking in brief about the personal life of the new CJI, Justice Khehar is the son of a Kenyan immigrant and was in school when he arrived in India along with his parents and other members of the family when his father decided to return to his roots and take Indian citizenship. He is a gold medallist from Panjab University.