Former Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir has passed away on Sunday afternoon. He was in a critical condition and was undergoing treatment at a city hospital in Kolkata. Earlier in the day, news agency ANI posted that the Chief Justice of India had passed away, however, a close friend former Supreme Court judge Ashok Ganguly said, “He is on life support system since his condition is very critical.” The 68-year-old and was born in Calcutta in 1948 to a prominent Bengali Muslim family in the district of Faridpur, a town that is now a part of Bangladesh. He is known for playing an important role in many high profile cases and passing on crucial judgements.
Altamas is particularly known for playing a key role in issues related to human rights and election laws. His most important case till date was that of Sandhya Manoj Wankhede of Amravati district in 2011. Another important case presided by him was the contempt case against the prominent advocate and (the now disbanded) Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan who alleged that half of India’s last 16 CJIs were corrupt.
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Altamas’ father Jehangir Kabir was a leading Congress politician and the trade Union leader from West Bengal. He also served as a Minister in the B.C. Roy and P.C. Sen ministries. He even went on to serve as a minister in the first non-congress government of West Bengal in 1967 with Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee as the Chief Minister.
Altamas started his career as an advocate in 1973 and practised in the District and Calcutta High Courts. He was later appointed as a permanent Judge of the Calcutta High Court in August 1990 and became the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court in March 2005. He was elevated to the Supreme Court and named the Chief Justice of India in September 2012. Altamas held this position until 18th July 2013.