Merit or Brahmin Privilege: How a Corrupt Lawyer Become Chief Justice of India ?

By Nilim Dutta

(This article is taken from public domain and copyright by author)

Pandit Godabarish Mishra was a Brahmin who was born on 26 October 1886 in what is now the present district of Khordha in Odisha. He completed his primary education from the village school and then received his higher education from the Puri District School in 1906 and enrolled in Ravenshaw College. He received his B.A. in Philosophy in 1910. He obtained his M.A. in economics in Calcutta in 1912.

Please note that he had obtained a Masters in Economics in 1912 while children of most Dalit-Bahujan-Adivasi are still struggling for access to primary education more than a hundred years later. At the time he had obtained a University Degree, Dalits children were not even allowed to enroll in schools.

A question had arisen in my mind to which I have not found an answer yet. 20 years before Pandit Godabarish Mishra was born, that is in 1866, Odisha suffered one of the worst famines in India’s history. One third of Odisha’s population had reportedly perished in this famine through starvation deaths. I wonder how Pandit Mishra’s family had survived through this devastating famine.

“Pandit” Mishra went on to participate in the non-cooperation movement, rose through the ranks in Congress, got elected to the state legislature in the very first Legislative Assembly Elections held in Odisha in 1937 from the Banpur Legislative Assembly Constituency. In 1941, he became the Finance & Education Minister in Odisha and held the portfolio till 1944.

It was when Pandit Godabarish Mishra was holding the all important portfolios of Finance & Education as a Cabinet Minister, two very important institutions were established.

Pandit Godabarish Mishra, introduced the Utkal University Bill, which was passed by the Odisha Legislative Assembly on 30th June 1943. On receiving the Governor’s assent on 2nd August 1943, the Utkal University Act, 1943 came into force, clearing the way for the foundation of Utkal University on 27th November 1943. The University started functioning from this date in room no. 15 of Ravenshaw College, Cuttack. It was the first University of Odisha.

Ravenshaw College was Pandit Godavarish Mishra’s alma mater from where he had received his B.A. in Philosophy.

The other important institution, the foundation for establishment of which was laid during his tenure as a cabinet minister, was the High Court of Odisha at Cuttack.

Pandit Godabarish Mishra remained a member of the legislative assembly of Odisha from the Banpur Constituency from 1937 – 1945 and again from 1952 till his death on 26 July 1956 at the age of 70.

It is thus clear that Pandit Godabarish Mishra left behind considerable social and political capital to his next generation in inheritance, besides material wealth.

What did the next generation of Mishra’s family do?

Pandit Godabarish Mishra was survived by his three sons (I don’t know whether he had any daughters).

Raghunath Misra (Born – 30 June 1916. Died – 20 March 1990)
Loknath Misra (Born – 21 Nov 1922. Died – 27 May 2009)
Ranganath Misra (Born – 25 Nov 1926. Died – 13 Sept 2012)

Raghunath Misra (1916 – 1990)
____________________________

Record of Odisha Legislative Assembly reveals that Raghunath Misra was a “matriculate”. I am unaware of what other “merits” he had, but he inherited his father’s Constituency, Banpur, and was elected twice consecutively to the Legislative Assembly of Odisha, 1961-1967, 1967-1971 as a MLA of the Congress Party.

He also, reportedly, “took keen interest for the upliftment of Adibasis and Harijans in the constituency,” whatever that means. Considering the state of Adivasis and Dalits at present, I can only imagine how much upliftment actually happened.

Raghunath Misra had one accomplishment, however. He fathered a son, Dipak Misra, who would became a lawyers in due course of time.

While Raghunath Misra was a MLA, his younger brother, Loknath Misra, was elected to the Rajya Sabha as a MP, and his youngest brother, Ranganath Misra was elevated to the bench of the Odisha High Court as a permanent judge.

Loknath Misra (1922 – 2009)
__________________________

Godabarish Mishra’s second son, Loknath Misra, was more illustrious. Again, I don’t know what “merit” he had, but records show that he was a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, representing Odisha, for three consecutive terms from 1960-1978. He was a member of the Swatantra Party.

When Loknath Misra’s elder brother Raghunath Misra was a MLA in Odisha, and he himself was a MP in the Rajya Sabha, and when a Swatantra Party Government was in power in Odisha, their younger brother, Ranganath Misra, was elevated to the bench of the Odisha High Court as a permanent judge in 1969.

Loknath Misra was made Governor of Assam on 17 March 1991 by the Chandra Shekhar Government at the Center. He continued to hold the post till 1 September 1997 throughout the tenure of P.V. Narasimha Rao led Congress Government at the Center, and for a brief period from 1992 – 1993, held the charge of the Governor of Nagaland too.

At the time Loknath Misra was appointed the Governor of Assam, his younger brother, Ranganath Misra, was already the 21st Chief Justice of India.

Loknath Misra’s son, Pinaki Misra, continues in his father’s footsteps and had been elected a Member of Parliament to the 11th, 15th, and 16th Lok Sabha and is a sitting MP from Odisha’s Puri Lok Sabha Constituency.

Ranganath Misra (1926 – 2012)
____________________________

Godabarish Misra’s youngest son, Ranganath Misra, became a lawyer and joined the Bar at Cuttack on 18 September 1950. He was elevated to the bench of the Odisha High Court as a permanent judge on 4 July 1969. At the time, his eldest brother, Raghunath Misra was a sitting Congress MLA of the Odisha Legislative Assembly and his other elder brother, Loknath Misra, was a sitting MP of the Rajya Sabha from Odisha.

It may just be coincidental but when Ranganath Misra was elevated to the bench and made a judge, the Chief Justice of Odisha High Court was another Brahmin, Justice Gati Krushna Misra and the Prime Minister of India too was a Brahmin, Indira Gandhi.

Ranganath Misra became the Acting Chief Justice of Odisha High Court on 6 Nov 1980, and held the charge till 16 January 1981 when his appointment as the Chief Justice of Odisha High Court was confirmed.

Ranganath Misra was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of India on 15 March 1983.

In the aftermath of the anti-Sikh pogrom in 1984 following assassination of Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi appointed a one man Commission to be headed by Ranganath Misra in MAy 1985 to investigate horrific massacre. The Commission submitted its report in August 1986, which was then made public in February 1987.

The Ranganath Misra Commission on Anti-Sikh Pogrom completely whitewashed the involvement of Congress leaders in the pogrom as also the complicity of police and officials.

It recommended no criminal prosecution of any individual, and it cleared all high-level officials of directing the pogroms. In its findings, the commission did acknowledge that many of the victims testifying before it had received threats from local police. While the commission noted that there had been “widespread lapses” on the part of the police, it concluded that “the allegations before the commission about the conduct of the police are more of indifference and negligence during the riots than of any wrongful overt act.

Ranganath Misra went on to become the 21st Chief Justice of India on 25 September 1990 and held office till 24 November 1991.

It was while he was the Chief Justice of India, his elder brother, Loknath Misra was appointed the Governor of Assam, on 17 march 1991.

After his retirement, in something which appears to me to be black humour, Ranganath Misra became the first Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission in 1993. In 1998, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha as a Congress MP from Odisha.

In 2007, Ranganath Misra was appointed to head the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities.

Dipak Misra (1953 – present)
_________________________

When his nephew, Dipak Misra, son of his eldest brother Raghunath Misra, joined the Bar and started practising in the Odisha High Court, Ranganath Misra was a sitting judge of the High Court.

When Ranga­nath Misra was elevated to the Orissa HC, his chamber passed on to R.C. Patnaik (who also went on to become an SC judge). From Patnaik, the chamber (and clients) passed to Ranganath’s older son, Devanand Misra, till his premature death, when Dipak Misra took over.

It was in 1979, when Dipak Misra was a lawyer practising in the Odisha High Court where his youngest paternal uncle, Ranganath Misra was a sitting judge, the grandson of Godabarish Mishra, former Finance & Education Minister of Odisha, son of former MLA of Banpur Raghunath Misra, nephew of former Rajya Sabha MP Loknath Misra, and nephew of sitting judge of the Odish High Court Ranganath Misra, he had applied for and obtained a lease of two acres of agricultural land from the government of Odisha.

In the affidavit filed by him (as a condition for allotment) he said: “I am Brahmin by caste and the extent of landed property held by me including all the members of my family is nil.”

In a CBI inquiry in 2012 directed by the Odisha High Court, as response to a Writ Petition before it, the CBI found that:

“In this case, Shri Dipak Mishra, S/o Raghunath Mishra, Vill-Tulsipur, PS- Lalbagh, Cuttack & permanent R/o Banpur, Puri was sanctioned 2 acres of land by the then Tahasildar Mr. J. A. Khan on 30.11.1979 at Plot No 34, Khata No 330, Mouja- Bidhyasharpur.

The allotment order of Tahasildar was cancelled by ADM Cuttack vide Order 11.02.1985. But the record was corrected only on 06.01.12 as per the order passed by the Tahasildar, Cuttack only after 06.01.2012.

Enquiry has already revealed certain instances of irregular leasing out of government land to ineligible beneficiaries by the Tahasildar, Cuttack Sadar during the period 1977 to 1980 in Bidyadharpur Mouza. Though some of the cases of irregular lease were cancelled by the ADM (Revenue) on review but the leaseholders had not vacated the said land. Even the records were corrected after 06.01.2012 even though the lease was cancelled during 1984-85.”

What Dipak Misra had shown as early as 1979 wasn’t “Brahmin Merit”. It was nothing short of “Brahmin Genius”.

For such merit, Dipak Misra was elevated to the bench of the Odisha High Court and appointed as an Additional Judge on 17 January 1996. He sought transfer and moved to the Madhya Pradesh High Court on 3 March, 1997. He became a Permanent Judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on 19 December, 1997.

It would be important to note that when he was elevated to the bench of the Odisha High Court, his older uncle Loknath Misra was the Governor of Assam, and his younger uncle, Ranganath Misra was the Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission, after having retired as the 21st Chief Justice of India.

When Ranganath Misra was elevated to the bench of the Odisha High Court in 1969, his chamber passed on to R.C. Patnaik. When Dipak Misra joined the Bar, he started in his uncle’s old chamber under R.C. Patnaik. When R.C. Patnaik was himself elevated to the bench of the Odisha High Court in 19 Sept 1981, it was passed on to Ranganath;s older son Devanand Misra, who tragically died prematurely. Thus, by 1981, two persons who had close relations with Dipak Misra, were on the bench of the Odisha High Court – his uncle Ranganath Misra, was the CHief Justice, and R.C. Patnaik, his senior, was a judge.

When Ranganath Misra was serving as the Chief Justice of India, he opened up the way for R.C. Patnaik to be elevated to the Supreme Court as a judge. R.C. Patnaik was to serve till 27 July 2000 but died prematurely barely a few months after his elevation to the Supreme Court on 30 May 1992.

It would be a little preposterous to believe that him being the nephew of a former CJ, Odisha High Court, and the CJI, and in whose chamber he had practised law, had no role to play in his elevation to the bench of the Odisha High Court as an Additional Judge in 1996.

It was while serving as a judge in the Madhya Pradesh High Court, from 3 March 1997 till December 2009, another meritorious Brahmin judge, Arun Mishra (son of a former Madhya Pradesh High Court Judge) joined the bench, on 25 October 1999.

Dipak Misra went on to become Chief Justice, Patna High Court on 23rd December, 2009, and then become the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court on 24th May, 2010.

It is believed that former Chief Justice of India, H.S. Kapadia had an instrumental role in first transfering Dipak Misra to Delhi High Court as Chief Justice, and thereafter elevating him as a Judge of the Supreme Court on 10 Oct 2011.

Even while he was a judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Dipak Misra showed extraordinary “merit” by admitting a Writ Petition by one Shyam Narayan Chouksey, who stated that he was extremely hurt that people in the cinema theater did not stand up when the National Anthem was shown being sung by a child actor in the Bollywood Movie, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham.

Going further, Dipak Misra, ruled in this case on 24 July 2003, that singing of the National Anthem should be deleted from the film because it was not properly picturised and that its exhibition in cinema theater or broadcast over TV/Cable without the scene deleted can amount to an insult to the National Anthem as there is no way to ensure that people would stand up when the same is being sung in the film.

Isn’t that just brilliant?

By another Brahminical Miracle, the same petitioner, Shyam Narayan Chouksey, came back after 13 years to the Supreme Court of India in 2016, with another Writ Petition, this time, seeking playing of the National Anthem be made mandatory in all cinemas and that all should stand up while it is being played. By yet another Brahminical Miracle, in violation of Supreme Court Registry norms, the matter got listed before a bench headed by Dipak Misra even though he should not have heard it because he had passed a judgment on the same matter n a petition filed by the same petitioner 13 years ago in Madhya Pradesh High Court.

This was even before his name got mired in many more questions of “merit”.

In the suicide note left behind by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul on 13 July 2016, he has clearly alleged that Aditya Misra, brother of Dipak Misra, had asked for Rs. 37 crores from him through intermediaries to get him a favourable judgment in the case for restoring his government to power, although allegations weren’t against Dipak Misra alone.

In spite of such conduct, Dipak Misra became the Chief Justice of India on 28 August 2017. Even before he could complete 5 months in office, matters went down hill so fast that the four senior-most judges of the country, his fellow judges in the 5 judge Supreme Court Collegium, yesterday called for an unprecedented press conference and let it be known to the whole country that they have had enough. India’s judiciary is one of the most conservative of institutions and when four of its senior-most judges revolted against the CJI, one can easily guess that they cannot take the diktats of a landless meritorious Brahmin anymore.

In question are extremely sensitive cases being somehow allowed to be heard by a bench headed only by another meritorious Brahmin judge, his fellow judge from Madhya Pradesh High Court who got elevated to the Supreme Court in 2014, Arun Mishra, who is 10th in seniority among the 25 Supreme Court judges.

Interestingly, Arun Mishra was among the first three judges, and senior-most among the three, who were appointed to the Supreme Court by the Modi Government on 7 July 2014. Of course it is the Supreme Court collegium who selects and makes the recommendation and in his instance, this collegium was headed by either CJI Sathasivam or his successor, CJI Lodha.

In question are these cases:

  1. Sahara Birla Diaries
    2. CJAR and Kamini Jaiswal petitions in Medical College bribery scam
    3. PIL on death of Judge B.H. Loya.

All the three cases are politically extremely sensitive with needle of suspicion pointing towards either Modi, Amit Shah, or the CJI. Why have all the cases have ended up before Arun Mishra?
Because of Brahmin Merit.

Dipak Misra is the living example of how a landless Brahmin Advocate can become the Chief Justice of India through sheer hard work and merit. He is the living proof that Brahmin merit beats everything – caste privilege, nepotism, favouritism, skullduggery, and outright lies and fraud – to succeed.

Note: It just took me an afternoon, out of curiosity, about the merit of the present Chief Justice of India that I discovered what I have written. Every statement about his family that I have made above is FACT, and verifiable. Even if I am haulde up for contempt, I would not change a word of what I have written here. Read and think how Brahmins continue to have a stranglehold on privilege, wealth, and power, through a stranglehold on the legislature, judiciary, bureaucracy, and the academia.

Dipak Misra is a living example of the rot that caste had perpetuated in this country. He began his life going to a school named after his grandfather while children of Dalits have to struggle to not get sucked into what their previous generations were doing, while children of Adivasis have to struggle not to die of malnutrition.

 

 

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