By Neelam M. Singh
I had the pleasure of interacting with Justice Dr. Adarsh Sein Anand, the 29th Chief Justice of India. We met several times at his house at Tughlaq Road. His wife Mala too used to take great interest and participate in the lively discussions.
Born on 1 November 1936 at Jammu, Justice Anand received his early education at Model Academy, Jammu before graduating from the Jammu and Kashmir University.
Justice Anand obtained his law degree from Lucknow University in 1960 and completed his Ph.D. on Constitutional law of the Commonwealth from University College London in 1964.
Justice Adarsh Anand enrolled as an advocate on 9 November 1964 and started practicing in the Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh. He was confirmed as a permanent Judge of Jammu and Kashmir High Court in 1976.
Almost a decade later on 11 May 1985, he was appointed as Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir Court, before being transferred as Chief Justice of Madras High court on 1 November 1989. He was finally elevated to the Supreme Court in November 1991 and went on to become the Chief Justice of India from 1998 to 2001, enjoying one of the longest tenures, since Justice YV Chandrachud the longest-serving Chief Justice in India’s history at 7 years and 4 months.
Post-retirement, he served as the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission from 2003 to 2007. He is also remembered for a stellar role as the chairman of the National Legal Services Authority and for establishing Lok Adalats in every district of the country.
Justice Anand’s last active assignment was as chairman of a five-member committee constituted to look at the safety aspects of the Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala. The committee submitted its report in April 2012.
Justice Anand presented me with his book; The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir about which Justice N. Venkatachaliah, the 25th Chief Justice of India wrote. “Anand has taken us through a journey of the most significant area of nation-building on the delicate and sensitive issue, which marks the evolution of the process of integration, of the State of Jammu & Kashmir into the Indian constitutional mainstream.”
I too took a lot of interest in reading the book because I belong to J&K, and have written several articles and made several News & Current Affairs programs for Doordarshan News on Kashmir which is my passion, as I was born in Srinagar!
I reviewed Justice the book for several publications including The Hindustan Times & The Kashmir Times, Indian & Foreign Review, etc.
On 26 January 2008, Justice Anand was awarded Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in India.
Justice Anand breathed his last on 1 December at a hospital in New Delhi at the age of 81. Justice Anand is survived by his wife and three daughters.
Neelam M. Singh is a former television news correspondent, turned practicing advocate and human rights, crusader.
The views expressed are her own