Justice AM Khanwilkar: A Profile of the New Lokpal of India

Former Supreme Court judge Justice AM Khanwilkar is appointed as the new Lokpal of India, overseeing the fight against corruption.

Former Supreme Court judge Justice AM Khanwilkar has assumed the position of the Lokpal of India, marking his entry into the realm of anti-corruption authority. With a distinguished career spanning decades in the legal arena, Justice Khanwilkar brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role. Let's delve into the life and career of this eminent jurist.

Early Life and Education:
Justice Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar was born on July 30, 1957, in Pune, Maharashtra. He pursued his education at Mulund College of Commerce before obtaining a degree in law from KC Law College, Mumbai University.

Legal Career:
Commencing his legal journey in 1982, Justice Khanwilkar embarked on a career as a legal practitioner. He appeared in a wide array of civil, criminal, and constitutional cases before various courts, including the Bombay High Court. In 1984, he transitioned to the Supreme Court of India, where he continued his legal practice. His proficiency and dedication led to his appointment as the Standing Counsel for Maharashtra in the Supreme Court, followed by his role as Additional Government Advocate for the state.

Contribution to Environmental Law:
Justice Khanwilkar's commitment to legal excellence extended beyond conventional legal practice. In 1994, he was appointed as an amicus curiae to assist the Supreme Court on environmental issues in the MC Mehta case concerning pollution control in West Bengal. His involvement underscored his dedication to addressing pressing societal issues through the legal framework.

Judicial Career:
The pinnacle of Justice Khanwilkar's career came with his appointment as an additional judge of the Bombay High Court in 2000, a position he assumed with honor and diligence. His exemplary service led to his confirmation as a permanent judge in 2002. Subsequently, he ascended to the esteemed positions of Chief Justice of the High Courts of Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh before reaching the zenith of his judicial career with his elevation to the Supreme Court in 2016. Justice Khanwilkar's tenure on the apex court bench was marked by a series of significant judgments that left an indelible mark on Indian jurisprudence.

Landmark Judgments:
During his tenure as a Supreme Court judge, Justice Khanwilkar presided over several notable cases that shaped legal discourse in India. Notable among these are his rulings on the Gujarat Riots investigation closure report, the constitutionality of amendments to the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, challenges to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, and bail under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. His judicial acumen and commitment to upholding constitutional values were evident in these landmark judgments.

Role as Lokpal:
As the new Lokpal of India, Justice Khanwilkar assumes the responsibility of leading the nation's anti-corruption watchdog. Tasked with investigating allegations of corruption against public functionaries, the Lokpal plays a crucial role in upholding integrity and transparency in governance. Justice Khanwilkar's appointment underscores the government's commitment to combatting corruption and ensuring accountability at the highest levels of public office.

Justice AM Khanwilkar's journey from a legal practitioner to the Lokpal of India exemplifies a lifelong commitment to justice, integrity, and the rule of law. His illustrious career, marked by exemplary service and landmark judgments, serves as a testament to his unwavering dedication to upholding the principles of justice and righteousness. As he embarks on this new chapter as the guardian of probity in public life, Justice Khanwilkar's leadership promises to bolster India's fight against corruption and strengthen democratic values.