Justice S. Abdul Nazeer Retires- Throwback to a Career of Four Decades

   

“Power of judicial review under Arts. 226/227 of the Constitution is an essential feature of the Constitution which can neither be tinkered with, nor eroded.”

Justice S. Abdul Nazeer

JBharati Reddy v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 12 SCC 61

A new year has dawned, but there is no rest for the Supreme Court. If last year was anything to go by in terms of ‘busyness’, this year promises to be no different. With 5 Judges recommended and awaiting a final nod for appointment, 2023 will also see 9 Judges retiring1, which is one more from last year [with the months of May and June being particularly cruel!] A number this high will have the observers closely noting the appointment process, as 9 retirements in a single year will surely affect the judicial strength of the Supreme Court, which rose to 28 out of 34 in 2022.

This year begins with the Supreme Court bidding adieu to Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, who retires today, after a tenure of 6 years as a Supreme Court Judge. His retirement brings down the Judges’ strength to 27 out of 34, which however, is another matter, because today it is not about judicial vacancies, but about reminiscing and celebrating Justice Nazeer’s legal career so far.

In order to do the same, we have attempted a recapitulation of his life, career and several of his landmark decisions.

Early Life, Education and Advocacy

Justice S. Abdul Nazeer was born on 05-01-19582in Beluvai near Moodbidri. Justice Nazeer obtained his B.Com degree from Mahaveera College, Moodbidri3. He studied law in Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Law College, Mangalore.

After obtaining his law degree, Justice Nazeer enrolled as an advocate on 18-02-1983. He practiced for 20 years in the Karnataka High Court.

Judgeship of the High Courts [2003-2017]

He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Karnataka High Court on May 12, 2003 and was made a Permanent Judge in September 20044.

Notable Judgements at High Court

Pilla Akkayyamma v. Channappa, 2015 SCC OnLine Kar 8226

“Animus possidendi as is well known, is a requisite ingredient of adverse possession. Mere possession does not ripen into possessory title until the possessor holds the property adverse to the title of the true owner for the said purpose.”

Justice Abdul Nazeer, while deciding a suit for possession on the basis of title, held that the defendants have failed to establish that they have adverse possession in respect of the said properties. The Court while deciding the matter opined that

“The concept of adverse possession contemplates a hostile possession i.e. a possession which is expressly or impliedly in denial of the title of the true owner. Possession to be adverse must be possession by a person, who does not acknowledge others’ rights but denies them. Possession implies dominion and control and the consciousness in the mind of the person having dominion over an object that he has it and can exercise it. Mere possession of the land would not ripen into possessory title. Possessor must have animus possidendi and hold the land adverse to the title of the true owner. Occupation only implies bare use of the land without any right to retain it.”

*Did You Know? The 5-judge bench in Ram Janmabhumi Temple CaseM. Siddiq (Ram Janmabhumi Temple-5 J.) v Suresh Das, (2020) 1 SCC 1, approved the Adverse Possession Rules as discussed in this case.

K. Raju v. Bangalore Development Authority, 2010 SCC OnLine Kar 4322

“…the power to cancel the deed vests with a Court and it cannot be exercised by the vendor of a property.”

Abdul Nazeer J., while hearing a petition filed challenging the cancellation of a ‘G’ category site involving former minister Kumar Bangarappa, discussed about execution and cancellation of sale deed and observed that

“…when the sale deed executed and registered, the owner completely loses his right over the property and the purchaser becomes the absolute owner. It cannot be nullified by executing a deed of cancellation because by execution and registration of a sale deed, the properties are being vested in the purchaser and the title cannot be divested by mere execution of a deed of cancellation. Therefore, even by consent or agreement between the purchaser and the vendor, the said sale deed cannot be annulled. If the purchaser wants to give back the property, it has to be by another deed of conveyance.

The Court held that State Government has no power or authority to direct the Bangalore Development Authority to allot sites under the Bangalore Development Authority Act, 1976 or the rules.

Noel Lewis Pinto v. Shalet D’souza, 2017 SCC OnLine Kar 367

A Division bench of S. Abdul Nazeer and K.S. Mudagal JJ., while upholding the judgment of trial Court awarding alimony of Rs. 7,50,000/- to the wife, observed that thought the respondent restricted his appeal only to the relief of alimony, but the findings of trial Court that the respondent is guilty of desertion, cruelty, rape, sodomy and bestiality will still operate against him.

Divya Ramesh v. N.S. Kiran, 2017 SCC OnLine Kar 761

A Division bench of S. Abdul Nazeer and K.S. Mudagal JJ., observed that giving regard to the up-bringing, level of sensitivity, educational, family and cultural background, financial position and social status of the petitioner, the conduct of the respondent amounts to cruelty and cannot be called as mere abusing, shouting or nagging or a normal wear and tear of a marital life. Moreover, when the respondent tried to snatch means of sustenance of the petitioner, it amounted to deprivation of her right to life which amounts to violation of human rights

Allowing the petition of the appellant under Section 13(1)(i)(a) of The Hindu Marriage Act, the Court held that he approach of the trial Court in appreciating the evidence with reference to Section 13(1)(1a) of the Act was incorrect and directed the respondent to pay permanent alimony of Rs. 50,00,000/- to the petitioner and maintenance of Rs. 50,00,000/- to his daughter.

Deepak Apparels (P) Ltd. v. City Union Bank Ltd., 2016 SCC OnLine Kar 686

While deciding the present petition wherein the issue was that whether a writ petition challenging an order passed by the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) while disposing an appeal filed under Section 17 of the SARFAESI Act, 2002, is maintainable, especially when Section 18 of the 2002 Act offers the alternative remedy, a three judge Bench comprising of S.A. Nazeer, A.B. Hinchigeri and A.N. Venugopala Gowda*, JJ., held that unless the Court is convinced that a case falls under exceptional circumstances, any writ petition challenging the order passed by the DRT while exercising its jurisdiction under Section 17, cannot be entertained by the High Courts in the light of the mandate of Article 141 of the Constitution.

Read More…

Vidya Ramakrishnaiah v. R.N. Vikram, 2004 SCC OnLine Kar 360

“…when a spouse makes complaint about the treatment of cruelty by the partner in life or relations, the Court should not search for standard in life.”

A Division bench presided by Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, deciding whether the conclusion reached by the Family Court that the respondent has made out a case for dissolution of marriage on the ground that the appellant has treated him with cruelty, held that the Family Court was justified in recording with finding that the appellant had treated the respondent with cruelty and it is clear that the appellant is not interested in retaining the marriage.

The Supreme Court [2017-2023]

After a tenure of 14 years as a Judge of the Karnataka High Court, Justice Nazeer was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court on 17-02-20175.

*Did You Know? Justice S. Abdul Nazeer is the third judge to be directly elevated to the Supreme Court without serving as a Chief Justice of a High Court6.

Notable Judgements at Supreme Court

*Did you Know? Justice Nazeer has been a part of 700+ Supreme Court cases and has authored 80+ judgments7.

Demonetisation Verdict: Centre’s 2016 demonetisation scheme, upheld

Six years after the country went through demonetisation, that was severely criticised for being poorly planned, unfair and unlawful, the Constitution Bench of S. Abdul Nazeer, B.R Gavai*, A.S. Bopanna, V. Ramasubramanian, B.V. Nagarathna**, JJ., in Vivek Narayan Sharma v. Union of India8, upheld the Centre’s 2016 demonetisation scheme in a 4:1 majority and held that demonetisation was proportionate to the Union’s stated objectives and was implemented in a reasonable manner. While Gavai, J., has written the majority opinion for himself and Justices S.A. Nazeer, A.S. Bopanna, V. Ramasubramanian. Justice B.V. Nagarathna was the lone dissenter, who held that, though demonetisation was well-intentioned and well thought of, the manner in which it was carried out was improper and unlawful.

Read in detail about the Demonetisation Verdict here- Note-Ban Verdict- Breakdown of the majority and minority opinions

[Restrictions on freedom of speech of Ministers] |Statement passed by a Minister cannot be vicariously attributed to the State

A Constitution Bench of S. Abdul Nazeer, AS Bopanna, BR Gavai, V Ramasubramanian & BV Nagarathna, JJ, in Kaushal Kishor v. State of Uttar Pradesh9 delivered verdict on the issue relating to freedom of speech of public functionaries and whether the right to life and personal liberty of citizens impedes the same. The issue emerged after Samajwadi Party (‘SP’) leader Azam Khan’s remarks on 2016 gang-rape of a minor and her mother in Uttar Pradesh, where he referred to the unfortunate incident as a “political conspiracy only and nothing else”.

Can employer recover excess increment granted on account of error after 10 years of retirement of the employee?

Reversing the concurrent findings of the Single Judge and Division Bench of Kerala High Court, the Bench of S. Abdul Nazeer* and Vikram Nath, JJ., in Thomas Daniel v. State of Kerala,2022 SCC OnLine SC 536, held that the State cannot recover excess amount paid to the ex-employee after the delay of 10 years. The Court held that if the amount was not paid on account of any misrepresentation or fraud of the employee, but it was the employer who applied wrong principle for calculating allowance or misinterpreted a, such excess payment of emoluments or allowances are not recoverable. The Court clarified,

“This relief against the recovery is granted not because of any right of the employees but in equity, exercising judicial discretion to provide relief to the employees from the hardship that will be caused if the recovery is ordered.”

Inter-se-seniority -Promotees versus Direct Appointees: ‘K. Meghachandra requires reconsideration’

In an appeal arising out of special leave petition, challenging the judgment of Gujarat High Court, wherein the seniority list dated 13-02-18 was quashed, and the seniority list of 07-09-16 was restored with a clarification that only those direct recruits who were eligible and qualified in the recruitment year 2009-10, shall be interspaced with 53 promotees who were promoted, the division bench of S. Abdul Nazeer and Abhay S. Oka*, JJ., in Hariharan v. Harsh Vardhan Singh Rao, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 1717, said that the decision in K. Meghachandra Singh v. Ningam Siro, (2020) 5 SCC 689 needs reconsideration by a larger bench and held that the interim relief will have to be vacated and seniority will have to be fixed based on the impugned judgment, subject to the outcome of the decision of the larger bench. Further, in relation to the recruitment and vacancies to the posts of Income Tax Inspectors, the financial year was being treated as the recruitment year or vacancy year.

Rent Act would not come to the aid of a “tenant-­in-­sufferance” vis-­à-­vis SARFAESI Act due to operation of S. 13(2) read with S. 13(13) of SARFAESI Act

The Division Bench of S. Abdul Nazeer* and Krishna Murari, JJ., in Hemraj Ratnakar Salian v. HDFC Bank Ltd., 2021 SCC OnLine SC 611 addressed a pertinent issue of whether the rent act would come to the aid of a tenant in sufferance and held that “…Rent Act would not come to the aid of a “tenant-in-sufferance” vis-à-vis SARFAESI Act due to the operation of Section 13(2) read with Section 13(13) of the SARFAESI Act.”

Maratha Reservation unconstitutional | The timeline of the case and the 3 questions that received unanimous opinions of all 5 judges

In a big development, the 5-judge bench of Ashok Bhushan*, S.A. Nazeer, L. Nageswara Rao*, Hemant Gupta* and S. Ravindra Bhat*, JJ., in Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil v. The Chief Minister, (2021) 8 SCC 1, quashed the much in debated Maratha Reservation and held that the Maharashtra State Reservation (of seats for admission in educational institutions in the State and for appointments in the public services and posts under the State) for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018 as amended in 2019 granting 12% and 13% reservation for Maratha community in addition to 50% social reservation is not covered by exceptional circumstances as contemplated by Constitution Bench in Indra Sawhney v. Union of India, 1992 Suppl. (3) SCC 217.

The Constitution Bench clearly laid down that even reservation for promotion, ceiling of 50% limit cannot be breached. Hence, the Commission has completely erred in understanding the ratio of the judgment.

“Sufficient and adequate representation of Maratha community in public services is indicator that they are not socially and educationally backward (…) The Marathas are dominant forward class and are in the main stream of National life.”

Aadhaar| When 4:1 majority refused to review the Aadhaar Judgment

Dismissing the review petition, the Constitution Bench comprising of A.M. Khanwilkar*, Dr D.Y. Chandrachud**, Ashok Bhushan*, S. Abdul Nazeer* and B.R. Gavai*, JJ., in Beghar Foundation v. K.S. Puttaswamy, (2021) 3 SCC 1, addressed the review petition against the final verdict in K.S.Puttaswamy (Aadhaar-5 Judges) v Union of India, (2019) 1 SCC 1, and held that Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act had elements of a ‘Money Bill’, and the other provisions were incidental to the ‘core’ of the Aadhaar Act. Hence, the majority held that the Aadhaar Act had been correctly certified as a ‘Money Bill’ under Article 110(1).

Right to privacy is a Fundamental Right; Information, family life, sexual orientation etc., are part of privacy

Justice S.A. Nazeer was part of the 9 Judge Bench in K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India (Privacy- 9 Judge),(2017) 10 SCC 1, which unanimously held that, Right to Privacy is a basic fundamental right. The Bench, which also comprised of J.S. Khehar, CJ. and J. Chelameswar, S.A. Bobde, R.K. Agrawal, R.F. Nariman, A.M. Sapre, S.K. Kaul, Dr D.Y. Chandrachud, JJ., held that right to privacy is an intrinsic part of right to life and liberty under Article 21 and freedoms guaranteed under Part III of Constitution of India.

“The interpretation of the Constitution cannot be frozen by its original understanding. The Constitution has evolved and must continuously evolve to meet the aspirations and challenges of the present and the future.”

Mother-in-law can claim compensation as a dependant under MV Act

The Division Bench of S. Abdul Nazeer* and Krishna Murari, JJ., in N. Jayasree v. Cholamandalam Ms General Insurance Co. Ltd., 2021 SCC OnLine SC 967,held that neither the percentage of deduction for personal expenses be governed by a rigid rule or formula of universal application nor does it depends upon the basis of relationship of the claimant with the deceased.

“It is not uncommon in Indian Society for the mother-in-law to live with her daughter and son-in-law during her old age and be dependent upon her son-in-law for her maintenance.”

Overruling versus Reversal: Mere overruling of principles by subsequent judgment will not dilute binding effect of decision inter partes

A Division Bench of S. Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari*, JJ., in Neelima Srivastava v. State of U.P., 2021 SCC OnLine SC 610 held that there is a distinction between overruling a principle and reversal of the judgment. The Supreme Court reaffirmed the settled position of law by explaining that:

“Mere overruling of the principles, on which the earlier judgment was passed, by a subsequent judgment of higher forum will not have the effect of uprooting the final adjudication between the parties and set it at naught.“

Can there be presumption of Hindu joint family property if a business activity carried out by Karta in a tenanted premise?

The 3-judge bench comprising of Ashok Bhushan, SA Nazeer and Hemant Gupta*, JJ., in Kiran Devi v. Bihar State Sunni Wakf Board, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 280, held that there can be presumption of Hindu joint family property if the property has been acquired by the male member or if the same has been treated as joint Hindu family. But no such presumption is attached to a business activity carried out by an individual in a tenanted premise.

Proceedings under LA Act, 1894 cannot be reopened once the possession has been transferred

In a petition regarding land acquisition by government of Assam for setting up a plastic park, the Division Bench of S. Abdul Nazeer* and Sanjiv Khanna, JJ., in Assam Industrial Development Corp. Ltd. v. Gillapukri Tea Co. Ltd., (2021) 3 SCC 388, held,“Once the award has been approved, compensation has been paid and possession of the land has been handed over to the Government, acquisition proceedings could not have been reopened, including by way of re-notification of the already acquired land under Section 4 of Land Acquisition Act, 1894.”

Ayodhya Verdict| Here’s why the 5-judge bench unanimously held that the disputed site belongs to Hindus

“The court does not decide title on the basis of faith or belief but on the basis of evidence.”

The 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ, S.A. Bobde, Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ., in M. Siddiq (Ram Janmabhumi Temple-5 J.) v Suresh Das, (2020) 1 SCC 1, held that the Court must ensure that a wrong committed must be remedied. It was further held that the Court cannot entertain or enforce rights to the disputed property solely based on the existence of an underlying temple dating to the 12th Century AD. Even though the Hindus were able to establish possessory title to the disputed property on a preponderance of probabilities, justice would not prevail if the Court overlook the entitlement of the Muslims.

“The law provides us with parameters as clear but as profound as ownership and possession. In deciding title to the disputed property, the court applies settled principles of evidence to adjudicate upon which party has established a claim to the immovable property.”

Whether a person belonging to a Scheduled Caste category in one State would be entitled to benefits in relation to employment matter in any other State

A 5-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi*, N.V. Ramana, R. Banumathi*, M.M. Shantanagoudar, S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ., while deciding the issue whether a person belonging to a Scheduled Caste in a particular State would be entitled to benefits\concessions in relation to employment matter which are allowed to Scheduled Caste candidate in any other State in Bir Singh v. Delhi Jal Board, (2018) 10 SCC 312, held that person belonging to SC/ST in one State cannot be deemed to be SC/ST person in any other State of purpose of employment or education.

“A person who is recognised as a member of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes in his original State, will been titled to all the benefits of reservation under the Constitution in that State only and not in other States/Union Territories and not entitled to the benefits of reservation in the migrated State/Union Territory.”

The Court emphasizing on the federal nature of the Constitution of India, discussed about the importance of constitutional provisions relating to services and observed that

The federal nature of the Constitution finds broad manifestation in two principal areas i.e. division of legislative power and exercise thereof by the Union and the constituent States and secondly, which is more relevant and important to the subject in hand, is the constitutional provisions relating to services under the Union and the States as dealt with in Part XIV of the Constitution.”

Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 approved; directions given for setting up of Vulnerable Witness Deposition Complexes in all district courts

A Division Bench comprising of A.K. Sikri* and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ., in Mahender Chawla v. Union of India, (2019) 14 SCC 615 [Witness Protection Scheme, 2018], while emphasizing on the role of witness in decision making process observed that the conditions of witnesses in Indian Legal System has become ‘pathetic’. It has become frequent happening were witnesses have suffered traumatic experience and turned hostile. Thus, creating problems of low convictions which is a serious blow criminal justice system. There is a paramount need to have witness protection scheme.The Court after considering various authorities cited as well as Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 gave certain directions to be followed by the Government.

Daughters have coparcenary rights

The 3-judge bench of Arun Mishra*, S.A. Nazeer and M.R. Shah, JJ., in Vineeta Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma, (2020) 9 SCC 1, held that daughter’s right in coparcenary property is by birth and it is not necessary that the coparcener father should be living when the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 came into force. If the daughter is alive on the date of enforcement of (Amendment) Act, 2005, she becomes

Judicial Review

A Division bench headed by Justice S. Abdul Nazeer*, in Bharati Reddy v. State of Karnataka, (2018) 12 SCC 61, while allowing the writ petition Panchayat challenging the election of the Adhyaksha of the Zilla Panchayat filed by the voters who are not the members of the Zilla, observed that

“We are of the view that a voter in a particular panchayat cannot be rendered remediless if he is aggrieved by the election of the Adhyaksha of the Panchayat.”

The Court held that the judicial review is a part of the basic structure of the constitution and cannot be ousted by Art. 243-O of the Constitution.

No mention of intention to blacklist in the show cause notice? Such show cause notice and consequent blacklisting order liable to be quashed

A Division bench presided by Justice S. Abdul Nazeer*, in UMC Technologies Private Limited v. Food Corporation of India, (2021) 2 SCC 551,while upholding the order terminating a contract of service with the appellant and to blacklist the appellant from participating in any future tenders of the Corporation for a period of 5 years, opined that the show cause notice constituting the basis of a blacklisting order must spell out clearly the intention on the part of the issuer of the notice to blacklist the noticee.

“(…) It is the first principle of civilised jurisprudence that a person against whom any action is ought to be taken or whose right or interests are being affected should be given a reasonable opportunity to defend himself.”

“The Precautionary Principle makes it mandatory for the State Government to anticipate, prevent and attack the causes of environmental degradation”

A 3-judge bench comprising of S.A. Bobde CJ., S. Abdul Nazeer*, Sanjeev Khanna JJ., in Hospitality Association of Mudumalai v. In Defence of Environment and Animals, (2020) 10 SCC 589, upheld the Madras High Court order directing resort owners and other private land owners in Mudumalai to vacate and hand over possession of land falling within the notified elephant corridor to Nilgiris Collector and observed that

“The ever-growing need for land, infrastructure and energy requirements of our large population have slowly fragmented the elephant’s natural spaces which are now surrounded by human habitation, agriculture, mining, roads and railways (…) These corridors aid this process by helping different elephant populations to intermingle, which is essential for retaining the vigour of the species and ensuring its long-term survival. By identifying and nurturing such corridors, deadly confrontations between humans and elephants can be avoided, in addition to safeguarding the welfare of the wildlife.”

TADA Act, 1987 | Conviction on basis of confession to police — When permissible?

“The confession is a form of admission consisting of direct acknowledgment of guilt in a criminal charge.”

While deciding whether the appellant has made the confession voluntarily and truthfully for the offences under TADA Act, 1987 and Explosive Substances Act, 1908, a Division bench comprising of S. Abdul Nazeer* and Deepak Misra JJ., in Raja v. State of T.N., (2020) 5 SCC 118, summarised the law regarding when conviction is permissible on basis of confession to police, held that It is well­ settled that a confession which is not free from doubt about its voluntariness, is not admissible in evidence. A confession caused by inducement, threat or promise cannot be termed as voluntary confession.”

The Court also explained about the admissibility of confession of a co-accused and opined that

“ Section 30 of the Indian Evidence Act mandates that to make the confession of a co­accused admissible in evidence, there has to be a joint trial. If there is no joint trial, the confession of a co­accused is not at all admissible in evidence”

Notable Dissents

Triple Talaq is not fundamental to Islam; Practice set aside by a 3:2 majority

“What is held to be bad in the Holy Quran cannot be good in Shariat and, in that sense, what is bad in theology is bad in law as well.”

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Shayara Bano v. Union of India, (2017) 9 SCC 1, by 3:2 majority, held that the practice of Triple Talaq is unconstitutional and violative of Arts. 14 and 15 of the Constitution.The Bench comprising of JS Khehar*, CJI., Kurian Joseph*, Rohinton Fali Nariman*, Uday Umesh Lalit and Abdul Nazeer, JJ. held that the Triple Talaq is manifestly arbitrary.

Justice Nazeer and the then Chief Justice Khehar, dissented with the majority judgement upholding the constitutionality of Triple Talaq. They observed that

“Muslim ‘personal law’ – ‘Shariat’ is not based on any State Legislative action, we have therefore held, that Muslim ‘personal law’ – ‘Shariat’, cannot be tested on the touchstone of being a State action.”

According to them the authority to strike down law on Triple Talaq is with the Parliament and not with the Supreme Court and they directed the Parliament to draft a law on Triple Talaq and proposed placing an injunction on it for six months, until the Parliament’s decision.

*Did you Know? The Bench constituted to decide Triple Talaq issue, consisted of Judges belonging to major faiths practised in India- Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism.10

Ayodhya Title Dispute | Reference to the Constitution Bench

In M. Siddiq v. Suresh Das, (2019) 18 SCC 631, Justice Nazeer who was on the 3- judge bench comprising of Dipak Misra, CJ., Ashok Bhushan, J., while hearing an appeal to the Ayodhya title dispute, dissented with the majority judgment on one point that a mosque is not an essential feature of Islam and stated that the following issues need to be referred to Constitutional Bench-

  • Whether in the light of Shirur Mutt and other relevant cases, an essential practice can be decided without a detailed examination of the beliefs, tenets and practice of the faith in question?

  • Whether the test for determining the essential practice is both essentiality and integrality?

  • Does Art. 25, only protect belief and practices of particular significance of a faith or all practices regarded by the faith as essential?

  • Do Arts. 15, 25 and 26 (read with Art. 14) allow the comparative significance of faiths to be undertaken?

Legacy

*Did you Know? As a Judge in the Karnataka High Court, Justice Nazeer had been a part of 2000+ decisions.11

Justice S. Abdul Nazeer’s 6- year tenure make him one of the longest serving Judge of the Supreme Court12. In these years, he had been a part of some of most path-breaking landmark decisions, like – Right to Privacy, Triple Talaq, Ayodhya Verdict. Few days before his retirement, Justice Nazeer, as a part of the Constitution Bench, upheld the validity of 2016 Demonetisation Scheme and ruled against further restrictions against freedom of speech as exercised by public functionaries. All in all, it was an extensive trajectory that Justice Nazeer had in the Supreme Court, his decisions all-encompassing.

Since 1983, Justice Nazeer has spent close to 4 decades in the field of law and has enriched the legal stratosphere with his opinions and judgments. As the Supreme Court bids farewell to Justice Nazeer, here’s hoping and wishing him the very best of luck for his future endeavours.

† Sucheta Sarkar, Editorial Assistant, EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd.


1. Chief Justice and Judges, Supreme Court of India

2. Refer fn 1

3. Justice Abdul Nazeer appointed to the Supreme Court, Mangalore Today

4. Justice Abdul Nazeer, Karnataka High Court

5. Chief Justice and Judges, Supreme Court of India

6. Justice Abdul Nazeer,SC Observer

7. SCC Online Web Edition– Judges Only Feature

8. [WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 906 OF 2016]

9. [Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 113 of 2016]

10. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/5-supreme-court-judges-of-5-faiths-to-give-verdict-on-triple-talaq-1740329

11. SCC Online Web Edition– Coram Only Feature

12. Objection, Your Honour, Frontline, The Hindu

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