Know your Judges : Justice V.N Khare

Justice V.N Khare


Vishweshwar Nath Khare was the 33rd Chief Justice of India. He served from 19 December 2002 to 2 May 2004.

He was a judge of the Supreme Court of India from 21 March 1997 before he was elevated to the post of Chief Justice.



Justice Khare was born in Allahabad on 2 May 1939.He lived in Allahabad for much of his life and did his schooling from St. Joseph’s College, Allahabad.

He further attended the Allahabad University. Justice Khare was also a First-Class cricket player, playing for the state of Uttar Pradesh in Ranji Trophy matches in 1958.



Justice Khare started his career as an Advocate in the Allahabad High Court in 1961, where he practiced on Civil, Writ and Revenue petitions.

He was appointed as the Chief Standing Counsel for the Government of Uttar Pradesh. On 25 June 1983, he was appointed a Judge of the Allahabad High Court then in early 1996, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, from where he was elevated to the Supreme Court of India a year later.



Justice Khare’s comments on there being an appearance of complicity between the state government and the rioters during the 2002 Gujarat violence have been criticized by Narendra Modi.


According to Narendra Modi:

Judges should keep away from politics. Justice Khare should know the difference between wrong and right. The state government was never a party to riots, nor was it a silent spectator. Nocommission of inquiry has indicted me. I am a victim of false propaganda by a section of the media.The million-dollar question is why did Khare make the remark only after retiring from the office? Hence Regarding my role in the riots the people of Gujarat are the best judge and they have replied in a befitting manner.


As an Advocate in 1975, Khare and his uncle, S. C. Khare, represented Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, in her famous case against Raj Narain, alleging electoral malpractices.

He was responsible for advocating the case that got the order of the High Court stayed until an appeal could be filed in the Supreme Court.

The adverse and ambiguous decision of the Supreme Court led to the imposition of Emergency in India for a period of 19 months, the only suspension of democracy the country has seen since Independence in 1947.


Justice Khare was awarded with the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour in 2006.

By: Ms. Swati Rai