|Born||17 December 1905(1905-12-17)|
Lucknow, British Raj
|Died||18 September 1992(1992-09-18) (aged 86)|
6th Vice President of India
31 August 1979 – 30 August 1984
President of India
20 July 1969 – 24 August 1969
11th Chief Justice of India
25 February 1968 – 16 December 1970
Chief Justice, High Court of Madhya Pradesh
|Assumed office |
1 November 1 1956
Chief Justice, High Court of Nagpur
Mohammad Hidayatullah, OBE (Hindi:मुहम्मद हिदायतुल्लाह) (17 December 1905 - 18 September 1992) was the Chief Justice of India. He served as the Acting President of India on two occasions and was also the sixth Vice-President of India for one complete term. The Hidayatullah National Law University at Naya Raipur is named after him.
Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah being sworn in as the Vice-President of India by the President of India, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy during a ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on September 1, 1979.
Early life and education
Justice Hidayatullah was born in 1905 in the well-known family of Khan Bahadur Hafiz Mohammed Wilayatullah. It was an upper-class family. His father was a poet of all-India repute who wrote poems in Urdu and probably it must have been from him that Justice Hidayatullah got his love for language and literature. In fact he could himself write well in Urdu.
Japanese Foreign Minister, Yoshio Sakuranchi (left) shaking hands with Vice President of India, M Hidayatullah after conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Law by the latter, who is also the Chancellor of Delhi University, in New Delhi on August 28, 1982.
Vice President of India M Hidayatullah delivering the keynote address at the silver jubilee celebrations of the Indo-Arab Society held in Bombay on October 6, 1979. Others seated from left to right are Faisal Awaida, Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) representative, Dr Rafiq Zakaria, President of the Society, Mohammed Abdul Latif Rasheed, Ambassador of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Dr Mohammed Yusuf Mugharef, Ambassador of Libya.
Swearing-in-Ceremony: Chief Justice of India Mohammad Hidayatullah administering the oath of office and secrecy to V V Giri (right) as Acting President of India, at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi on May 4, 1969.
After completing primary education at the Government High School of Raipur in 1922, Hidayatullah attended Morris College in Nagpur, where he was nominated as the Phillip's Scholar in 1926. Following the trend of Indians studying British law abroad, Hidayatullah attended Trinity College at the University of Cambridge from 1927 to 1930. Here he secured the 2nd order of merit and was awarded a Gold Medal for his performance in 1930. He was called to the Bar from Lincoln's Inn when he was just 25 years old. He was awarded LL.D. (Honoris Causa) from University of Philippines and D. Litt. (Honoris Causa) from University of Bhopal(now Barkatullah University) and University of Kakatiya.
Swearing-in-Ceremony: President of India Dr Zakir Husain (right) administering the oath of office and secrecy to Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah (left) as Chief Justice of India, in New Delhi on February 25, 1968.
His son Arshad Hidayatullah is a Senior Counsel at Supreme Court of India.
While at Cambridge, Hidayatullah was elected and served as the President of the Indian Majlis in 1929. Also while here, he pursued English and Law Tripos from the renowned Lincoln's Inn. In addition he secured a place of Barrister-at-Law in 1930.
Judicial CareerAfter graduation, Hidayatullah returned to India and enrolled as Advocate of the High Court of Central Provinces and Berar at Nagpur on 19th July 1930. On 2nd August 1943, he became the Advocate General of Central Provinces and Berar (now Madhya Pradesh) and continued to hold the said post till he was appointed as Additional Judge of that High Court on 24th June 1946.
Hidayatullah was the youngest Advocate General of a State, Madhya Pradesh, in 1943 and the youngest Chief Justice of a High Court when he was appointed to the Madhya Pradesh High Court in 1954.
In 1946, Hidayatullah was appointed as a judge at the Nagpur High Court, where he served until being elevated to Chief Justice of the Nagpur High Court in 1954. Hidayatullah served as the Chief Justice here until 1956, and was subsequently appointed the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in November 1956.
Following this longstanding experience in the state's court circuit, Hidayatullah was eventually elevated as a Justice to the Supreme Court of India in December 1958. In his time he was the youngest judge of the Supreme Court of India. After serving as a Justice for nearly 10 years, Hidayatullah took oath as Chief Justice of India on 28 February 1968 - becoming the first Muslim Chief Justice of India. He retired from this position on 16 December 1970 .
PresidencyDuring his term as the Chief Justice of India, the then President of India, Dr Zakir Hussain died suddenly, in harness, on May 3, 1969. Then Vice President of India Mr.V V Giri became the acting President. V V Giri resigned to take part in Presidential elections. Justice Hidayatullah then served as the President of India being ex-officio Chief Justice of India for a short period from 20 July to 24 August. The visit of President of the United States Mr. Richard Nixon to India made his Presidential term historic.
After his retirement, Justice Hidayatullah was elected as the Vice-President of India by a consensus among different parties and occupied that high office with distinction from 1979 to August 1984. During his tenure as the Vice-President he won the respect of all concerned for his impartiality and independence.
Having served at all of these positions made Hidayatullah unique among other members of Indian history. Justice Hidayatullah became the only person to have served in all three offices of Chief Justice of India, President of India, and the Vice President of India.
During his long tenure in the Supreme Court he was a party to a number of landmark judgments including the judgment in Golaknath v. State of Punjab which took the view that the Parliament had no power to cut down the Fundamental Rights by constitutional amendment. His judgment in the case of Ranjit D. Udeshi dealing with the law of obscenity, displayed a flair for literature which is not so common among our judges.
Career in NagpurBefore becoming involved in national politics and serving as Supreme Court Justice, Hidayatullah was involved in local and state affairs. The following are some of the committee positions he held:
- Member of the Nagpur Municipal Committee (1931–1933)
- Member of the Nagpur University's Executive and Academic Councils (1934–1953)
- Member of the Nagpur Improvement Trust (1943–1945)
- Member of the Nagpur Bar Council (1943–1946)
- Chief Commissioner of the Madhya Pradesh Bharat Scouts and Guides (1950–1953)
TeachingHaving received an education at one of the premier legal institutions of the time, Hidayatullah was able to segue into an academic career not long after returning to India. In 1935, he took a teaching post at University College of Law - where he taught until 1943. Later he served as Dean of the Faculty of Law at Nagpur University from 1949 to 1953. In addition, he served as Faculty of Law at various other institutions throughout the 1950s: Sagar University, Court Vikram University, and the prestigious Aligarh Muslim University.
Post-retirement Hidayatullah renewed his interest in Boy Scouts and served as Chief Scout of the All India Boy Scouts Association from 1982 to 1992.
InstitutionsHe was the president of Indian Law Institute, International Law Association (Indian Branch), Indian Society of International law from 1968 to 1970. He also presided ) Indian Red Cross Society in 1982. He was closely associated with Hunger Project of USA, World Association of Orphans and Abandoned Children (Geneva), and Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues (1982-84).
- Democracy in India and the Judicial Process, 1966 by Asia Publishing House (1967).
- The South-West Africa Case,Published 1967 by Asia Publishing House (1966).
- Judicial Methods Published for the Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies by National Publishing House (1970).
- A Judge's Miscellany, N. M. Tripathi (1972).
- USA and India: All India Reporter (1977).
- A Judge's Miscellany (Second Series) N. M. Tripathi(1972).
- The Fifth and Sixth Schedules to the Constitution of India, Ashok Pub. House
- My own Boswell (Autobiography) Arnold-Heinemann (1980).
- Editor, Mulla's Mohammedan Law
- Constitutional law of India: Bar Council of India Trust (1984).
- Right to property and the Indian Constitution: Calcutta University (1984).
- Justice Hidayatullah on commercial laws: Deep & Deep (1982).
- Order of the British Empire, 1946,
- Order of Yugoslav Flag with Sash, 1970,
- Medallion and Plaque of Merit Philconsa, Manila, 1970 and
- Knight of Mark Twain, 1971;
LegacyIn his honor, the Hidayatullah National Law University was established in 2003, in his home town of Raipur, in the state of Chhattisgarh.
Source : Wikipedia