From practising as an Advocate in London to becoming a Supreme Court Judge | Justice S.S. Nijjar had a remarkable journey

As per several news reports, Former Supreme Court Judge Surinder Singh Nijjar passed away due to cardiac arrest. Let’s have a brief look at his journey from being an Advocate to a Supreme Court Judge.

Profile | Justice S.S. Nijjar 

Former Supreme Court Judge, Surinder Singh Nijjar was born on June 7, 1949.

Educational Background

Justice Nijjar had obtained his education in England from the age of 12 years and obtained an LL.B Degree from the University of London in 1972 and did Bar-at-Law from Middle Temple Inn, London in the year 1975.

Career as an Advocate

He practised law in England from 1975 to 1977 and was Enrolled as an Advocate of the Punjab & Haryana High Court on April 28, 1977.

Later, he continued his practise in the District Courts at Chandigarh, Departmental Authorities, Central Administrative Tribunal, set up in Chandigarh in the year 1985.

He specialized in Constitutional and Writ matters and was Standing Counsel to numerous Nationalised Banks, Government Corporations, Universities and had considerable work in the field of Service and Industrial Law.

Senior Advocate

In November 1989 he was designated as a Senior Advocate.

Additional Advocate General

Punjab Government appointed him as an Additional Advocate General on October 13, 1995.

Additional Judge

 On April 8, 1996, he was elevated to the Bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh as an Additional Judge.

Later, he was transferred as an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court on April 26, 1996, and was appointed Puisne Judge of the High Court at Bombay on April 3, 1998.

Again in the year, 2000 he was transferred back to the High Court of Punjab & Haryana, Chandigarh and assumed charge on August 7, 2000.

Chairman of Advisory

He was also appointed as Chairman of Advisory/NSA Board of Punjab on 7.2.2006. Remained as Acting Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court, Chandigarh w.e.f. 3.10.2006 to 28.11.2006.

Executive Chairman of Punjab State Legal Services Authority

On 3.11.2006 he was appointed as the Executive Chairman of Punjab State Legal Services Authority.

From Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court to Supreme Court Judge

Justice Nijjar assumed the charge of the office of the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court on March 7, 2007, and elevated as a Judge of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India on November 17, 2009.

After Retirement

Unanimously elected as a Master of the Bench (Bencher), the Hon’ble Society of the Middle Temple, London on October 11, 2011. Appointed as Chairman, Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee of Supreme Court in 2012. Retired on 06.06.2014.


Background taken from the Official website of the Supreme Court of India.

Justice S.S. Nijjar has been a part of some very interesting and landmark cases covering the Black Money Case filed by the eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani to the killing of Hemant Karkare, head of Maharashtra Police’s anti-terrorist squad (ATS), during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

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