Madhukar Hiralal Kania: Former Chief Justice of India

Justice Madhukar Hiralal Kania was born on November 18th, 1927. He is an Indian lawyer who subsequently became a judge. He served as CJI for more than a year. Justice Madhukar Hiralal Kania authored 107 decisions and was a part of 454 bench in his Supreme Court career. He died on February 1st 2016 at the age of 88. He was preceded by Justice K.N. Singh and succeeded by Justice L.M. Sharma.

Early Life and Education

Kania received her education at the Government Law College in Bombay, Elphinstone College, Fellowship School, and St. Xavier's High School. The first Chief Justice of India, Sir Harilal Jekisundas Kania, was his uncle.


Justice Madhukar Hiralal Kania began his legal career during the following time period −

  • On 1 November 1949, he registered at the Bombay High Court as an advocate.

  • On November 14, 1969, he was appointed as an additional judge on the Bombay High Court.

  • On 2 November 1971, he was appointed as a permanent judge of the Bombay High Court.

  • He was named Chief Judge of the Bombay High Court in June 1986.

  • He was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of India in May 1987.

  • In December 1991, he was appointed as Chief Justice of India.

Fact Detail
Name Madhukar Hiralal Kania
Date of Birth 18 November 1927
Alma Matar Government Law College, Bombay
Official Tenure 13 December 1991 – 17 November 1992
President Ramaswamy Venkataraman
Preceded K.N. Singh
Succeeded L.M. Sharma

As Judge

Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court

Permanent Judge of the Bombay High Court

Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court

Judge of the Supreme Court

Chief Justice of India

Notable Judgements

The notable judgments are −

MC Mehta vs. State of Tamil Nadu (AIR 1997 SC 699)

In the present case, a public interest litigation involving child labour was presented before the court. According to Judge Kania, the children cannot work in factories that handle dangerous materials under Articles 39 and 45 of the Constitution. Furthermore, even if adult children wished to work due to the bad economic times, they could only be employed in packing and not production, provided that the kids were kept out of the manufacturing area. Also, he included recommendations in the verdict to enhance the standard of living for kids working in industries.

Indra Sawhney vs. Union of India. (AIR 1993 SC 477, 1992 Supp 2 SCR 454)

One of the most important cases pertaining to reservations in India was presented by a nine-judge bench. In the majority was Chief Justice M.H. Kania. The "creamy layer" notion and their exclusion from reservations were introduced by the ruling. Caste was used in the decision to classify OBCs as being socially disadvantaged. For a class to fall under OBCs, economic and educational backwardness could not be the primary criterion; they had to be caused by social backwardness. Based on these criteria, reserves in government services for OBCs were affirmed; however, the court also said that restrictions in promotions were not permitted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Who had appointed Justice Madhukar Hiralal Kania as the Chief Justice of India?

Ans. The former President Ramaswamy Venkataraman had appointed him as the chief justice of India.

Q2. How many articles are there in the Constitution of India?

Ans. Indian Constitution has 12 schedules, 5 appendices, and 470 articles broken down into 25 part. It originally included 8 schedules and 395 article organised into 22 parts.

Q3. Who is called the father of the Constitution?

Ans. The Indian Constitution is credited to Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar as its founder. The Constituent Assembly established a Drafting Committee on August 29, 1947. Ambedkar served as the chairman of this Drafting Committee.

Q4. Which language was the Indian Constitution written in?

Ans. It is the world's longest written constitution. It was written by BR Ambedkar and B.N. Rau in both Hindi and English.

Updated on: 13-Apr-2023


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