Former CJ of Kerala and Karnataka HC, Justice NK Sodhi passes away

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Justice NK Sodhi (retd.), former Chief Justice of Kerala and Karnataka High Courts, passed away on Tuesday. He was 78. He was cremated by his family members in Chandigarh and is survived by his wife Neelam Sodhi, daughter Gayatri Sodhi and grandson Sidharth.

He completed his graduation in law from Panjab University in 1965, joined the Bar and started practicing in civil, constitutional, labour, tax, transport and corporate laws in Chandigarh.

He also remained Editor of the Indian Law Reports (Punjab and Haryana series) for over a decade. He was also a part-time member of the law faculty at the Panjab University for 13 years and taught subjects Industrial Law and Tax Laws.

He was appointed as Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in March, 1991. In January, 2004, he was elevated as Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court from where he got transferred to Karnataka as Chief Justice and retired on November 29, 2005. Thereafter, he was appointed as the Presiding Officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal at Mumbai, and he held the post for six years.

He came back to Chandigarh in December 2011 and had been handling arbitration cases as an arbitrator/presiding arbitrator as appointed by the High Courts of Punjab and Haryana, Bombay, Karnataka and Madras. The Supreme Court also appointed him as an arbitrator of a three-member tribunal. He had handled over 20 arbitration matters.

In January, 2013, he was appointed the chairman of a high-powered committee set up to revise the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 1992. He was also the chairman of the Takeover Panel of Experts since 2015 to make recommendations to the SEBI on applications seeking exemption from making an open offer under these regulations.

In July, he had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court apprehending that the high-resolution CCTV cameras installed at the official residence of Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha in Sector 4 could record the movement of people visiting Justice Sodhi’s private house (opposite Chief Justice’s official house) and thus it was hampering his fundamental rights of privacy.

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