On 12 May, Justice SH Kapadia, the most senior judge of the Supreme Court was sworn in as the 38th chief justice of India by President Pratibha Patil. The ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan was attended by the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, the outgoing chief justice, KG Balakrishnan, and other dignitaries.
The 62-year-old chief justice will serve at the forefront of the Indian judiciary until 29 September 2012. He has encouraged lawyers to cultivate their commercial acumen and remain updated on commercial laws, believing firmly that such knowledge is essential to competing effectively in a global environment.
In his valedictory address at a two-day national consultation for second-generation reforms in legal education in New Delhi, Kapadia said: “I am reliably told that an impression is being formed that the judges and lawyers in India do not even conceptually have any knowledge of business and commercial laws.” He encouraged lawyers to remedy this lack of knowledge and also devote more time to work towards judicial reforms and better legal education.