Tripura High Court got its long-awaited Chief Justice, when Justice Jaswant Singh was appointed on 15-02-2023. However, his tenure has been way too short, for he is retiring today after serving as Tripura High Court’s 7th Chief Justice for less than 10 days. Thus, it is only apt that we try to take a step back and look at Justice Jaswant Singh’s life and career so far.
Early Life and Education1
Justice Jaswant Singh was born on 23-02-1961, in Rohtak, Haryana. He attended Oak Grove School in Jharipani, Mussoorie/Model School in Rohtak for his education.
In 1980, he received his degree in the Humanities. He graduated from Maharshi Dayanand University with both a law degree and a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).
Did You Know? Justice Singh loves playing lawn tennis, cricket, and golf.2
He enrolled in 1986 to work as an advocate and started practicing in District Courts, Sirsa. He began practicing law at the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 1988 and handled matters primarily involving service and constitutional law while representing the State on the civil side.
Justice Jaswant Singh also held the positions of Assistant Advocate General, Deputy Advocate General, Senior Deputy Advocate General and Additional Advocate General in the Haryana Advocate General’s office.4
On 05-12-2007, Justice Jaswant Singh was promoted as Judge in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. On 08-10-2021, he was appointed as a Judge of the Orissa High Court.
By Supreme Court Collegium resolution dated 25-01-2023, the Collegium recommended the appointment of Justice Jaswant Singh, as Chief Justice of the High Court of Tripura;5 and on 15-02-2023, he was finally appointed and thus was sworn in6 as the 7th Chief Justice of Tripura High Court7
Did You Know? Having great interest in sports, Justice Jaswant Singh was also elected as the President of Chandigarh Lawyers Sports Association8
A List of His Notable Judgments
1) Orissa HC | Auction of milching cows with calves do not amount to cruelty under PC Act 1962 or Orissa Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act, 1960 [Dhyaan Foundation v. State of Odisha, 2021 SCC OnLine Ori 1873, decided on 02-11-2021] …Read More
2) Punjab and Haryana HC | Writ in nature of mandamus dismissed for non-prosecution [Jagjeet Singh v. Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee, 2018 SCC OnLine P&H 1646, decided on 30-10-2018]. Read More
3) Punjab and Haryana HC | Alternative prayer in a suit cannot be construed as waiver or abandonment of main relief [Sukhwinder Singh v. Satnam Singh, 2013 SCC OnLine P&H 11161]
4) Punjab and Haryana HC | Decision of the High Court not to appoint the candidates, who have obtained less than 50% marks in aggregate of the written examination and viva-voce, is applicable at the stage of appointment after the PCS (Judicial) examination process is complete. [Jarnail Singh v. State of Punjab, 2014 SCC OnLine P&H 22802]
5) Punjab and Haryana HC | Members of a municipality — Members of the House of People and the Legislative Assembly of the State or the Council of the States, nominated as members of the Committee under clauses (ii)and (iii) of S. 9(3) of the Haryana Municipal Act, 1973, cannot be deemed to be ‘elected members of the Committee [Sanjeev Kumar Verma v. Urban Local Bodies, 2015 SCC OnLine P&H 3546]
6) Orissa HC | The existence of an alternative remedy may not always be sufficient ground for the Court to refuse to exercise its jurisdiction under Article 226 and cases may arise where the unconstitutionality or the illegality of the order under challenge is so apparent that notwithstanding the existence of the alternative remedy this Court may interfere under that Article [Sun Bloom Construction v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Ori 3333]
7) Orissa HC | The scope of judicial review in the tender matters is very limited. [Nilendra Kumar Mahapatra v. Indian Oil Corporation, 2022 SCC OnLine Ori 2905]
8) Orissa HC | The exemption notification must, in all cases, be strictly construed and any benefit of doubt must be given to the Revenue and against the assessee. [Tarini Minerals Private Limited v. Deputy Commissioner, Custom House, 2022 SCC Online Ori 3405]
9) Orissa HC | The test for the scope of judicial review of administrative action “consider whether something has gone wrong of the nature and degree which requires its intervention” [Bombay Intelligence Security (India) Limited v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Ori 2716]
10) Punjab and Haryana HC | True attributes of an ‘Officer’ within meaning of S. 36(2)(a) and S. 36(2)(b) of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 — An ‘office bearer’ in expression ‘Officer’ cannot be included and the expression ‘association of employer’ means ‘Employer’ alone and it would not include a legal practitioner within meaning of Section 2(i) of Advocates Act on rolls of any State Bar Council established under 1961 Act. [Hygienic Foods Malerkotla Road Khanna v. Jasbir Singh, 2009 SCC OnLine P&H 10299]
11) Punjab and Haryana HC | Equal pay for equal work — Whether a work charge/daily wage employee is entitled to minimum basic pay and or dearness allowance in view that they are doing same work as person holding regular sanctioned post — Held, that a daily wager is not entitled to claim minimum pay scale as that of regular employee without a regular selection and in absence of a post. Daily wager is not subject to disciplinary control and transfer in administrative exigencies. [Avtar Singh v. State of Punjab, 2011 SCC OnLine P&H 15326].
This decision however was reversed by a Division Bench of the Supreme Court in State of Punjab v. Jagjit Singh, (2017) 1 SCC 148.
*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.