Home Know The Law 10 Interesting facts about Justice Hidayatullah

10 Interesting facts about Justice Hidayatullah

Mohammad Hidayatullah, (17 December 1905 – 18 September 1992) was the 11th Chief Justice of India serving from 25 February 1968 to 16 December 1970, and the sixth Vice President of India, serving from 31 August 1979 to 30 August 1984. He is regarded as an eminent jurist, scholar, educationist, author, and linguist.

Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah
Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah

  • At the age of 53, he was elevated as a justice to the Supreme Court of India. In his time he was the youngest judge of the Supreme Court of India. After serving as a judge for nearly 10 years, he was appointed as the 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.
  •  During his term as the Chief Justice of India, the then-President of India, Zakir Husain died suddenly, in harness, on 3 May 1969. Then Vice President of India Mr. V. V. Giri became the acting President. Later, Giri resigned from both offices as acting President and Vice-President to become a candidate in the 1969 Presidential Election.
  • Hidayatullah then served as the President of India for a short period from 20 July to 24 August. The visit of President of the United States Richard Nixon to India made his Presidential term historic.
  • After his retirement, 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. In 1982, when the then President Zail Singh went to the U.S. for medical treatment, Vice-President Hidayatullah officiated as President from 6 October 1982 to 31 October 1982. Thus, he officiated as acting President twice.
  • Having served at all of these positions made Hidayatullah unique among other members of Indian history. He 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 and is particularly of note.
  • He won a long list of awards and honours including, Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), 1946 King’s Birthday Honours, Medallion, and Plaque of Merit Philconsa, Manila, 1970 and War Service Badge, 1948; among numerous others.
  • Between 1970 and 1987, as many as 12 Indian Universities and the University of Philippines conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctorate of Law or Literature. In his honour, the Hidayatullah National Law University was established in 2003, in his home town of Raipur, in the state of Chhattisgarh. University also organizes Justice Hidayatullah Memorial National Moot Court Competition (NMCC) in his memory.

  • Justice Hidayatullah’s contribution to the legal systems as also to the political, social and cultural systems is immense. His statesmanship in the Indian polity and his relevance to the Indian society will be felt more strongly with the passage of time.
  •  Justice Hidayatullah was a great human being. He had been very considerate and polite both at the Bar and the Bench. His contemporary Supreme Court staff members bear witness to his kind-heartedness and large-heartedness.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Legal Aid and Its Implications on Poor People

INTRODUCTION While some lawyers believe the new Legal Aid Scheme is the first step towards a National Legal Service, others agree with some laypeople who...

The Law Express x Enhelion National Article Writing Competition

The Law Express is a platform that provides apropos insights on the current legal happenings around the world. We offer explicit legal news, judgments,...

Federalism in India

Introduction Federalism derives from the Latin term "foedus," which meaning "covenant, agreement, or treaty." Federalism is a principle that outlines a governance system in which...

Envisaging a Better Sanitation Policy in India – Sanitation Policy Analysis

INTRODUCTION India's high emphasis on hygiene has led to greater toilets availability as well as waste network: between 2014 and 2019, the “Swachh Bharat Mission”...

Recent Comments

Looking For Internship Updates, Case Briefs, Subject Notes & Job Openings?