| GB Pattanaik with APJ Abdul Kalam at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Picture by Rajesh Kumar
New Delhi, Nov. 8: Justice Gopal Ballav Pattanaik was sworn in today as Chief Justice of India.
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam administered the oath of affirmation in accordance with Article 124 (6) of the Constitution read with the Third Schedule at a simple ceremony at Ashoka Hall in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Justice Pattanaik, the 32nd chief justice, will, perhaps, have the shortest term in office — a month-and-a-half — as he is set to retire on December 19.
Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani attended the ceremony. However, Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and Union law and justice minister K. Jana Krishnamurthi were not present.
Outgoing chief justice B.N. Kirpal, who retired yesterday, attended the function along with other Supreme Court and Delhi High Court judges.
Justice Pattanaik was appointed chief justice on October 18. Kalam had then issued the warrants of appointment under Clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution.
Justice Pattanaik, a B.Sc, L.L.B. from Orissa, was born on December 19, 1937, and enrolled as an advocate on February 28, 1937. He practised in the civil, criminal, constitutional and company branches of law in Orissa High Court and later in the Supreme Court till his appointment as judge in Orissa High Court on June 1, 1983. He became the chief justice of Patna High Court on May 19, 1995, and was promoted to the Supreme Court on September 11, 1995.
Justice Pattanaik has also worked as a government advocate for over four years.