B. N. Srikrishna : biography
Bellur Narayanaswamy Srikrishna known as Justice Srikrishna (born May 21, 1941) is an Indian jurist and a retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India. From 1993-98, he headed the well-known Commission of Inquiry, the "Srikrishna Commission" as it became known, which investigated causes and apportioned blame for the Bombay Riots of 1992-93. He is currently the chairman of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC).
Born in Bangalore, he was brought up in Bombay (now Mumbai) and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Science from the Elphinstone College of the University of Bombay, received an LL.B. from the Government Law College, Mumbai, an LL.M. from the University of Bombay, and stood second in the University. He holds an M.A. in Sanskrit from the University of Mysore, a diploma in Urdu and a postgraduate diploma in Indian Aesthetics from the University of Bombay. He knows eleven languages including his mother tongue Kannada.
Srikrishna, in 1967, entered private practice in the Bombay High Court,http://www.indianexpress.com/res/web/pIe/ie/daily/19981126/33050884.html specializing in labour and industrial law and was counsel for a number of large corporations. Besides appearing in the High Court, he also argued cases in the Supreme Court of India, and was designated as a Senior Advocate in 1987.
He was appointed as an additional judge of the Bombay High Court in 1990 and as a permanent judge in 1991. In 1993, he assumed charge of the Commission of Inquiry into the riots that took place in Bombay in 1992-93. The "Srikrishna Commission", as it became known, submitted its report in 1998, and generated widespread interest in India and abroad. In September 2001, Justice Srikrishna was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court and on October 3, 2002, was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India. On May 21, 2006, as per rules, on reaching the age of superannuation of sixty-five years, Justice Srikrishna retired from the Supreme Court of India.
In 1992-93, the city of Mumbai was rocked by communal riots between the Hindu and Muslim communities after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya by thousands of Hindu Karsevaks. While communal riots are not unusual in modern Indian history, these riots were particularly startling in light of Mumbai's largely peaceful past. Above all the Bombay Riots appeared to compromise the much-vaunted image of the city as cosmopolitan, secular and tolerant. Further, the riots appeared to solidify the image of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray who scathingly criticised the judiciary.
He, then a relatively junior Judge of the Bombay High Court, accepted the task of investigating the causes of the riots, something that many of his colleagues had turned down. For five years, until 1998, he examined victims, witnesses and alleged perpetrators. Detractors came initially from left-secular quarters who were wary of a judge who was a devout and practicing Hindu. The Commission was disbanded by the Shiv Sena-led government in January 1996 and on public opposition was later reconssions of Inquiry Act, an Inquiry is not a court of law (even if it conducts proceedings like a court of law) and the report of an inquiry is not binding on Governments, Srikrishna's recommendations cannot be directly enforced. To this date, the recommendations of the Commission have neither been accepted nor acted upon by the Maharashtra Government.
The Srikrishna Report on Madras High Court Riots
Justice Srikrishna headed a one-man commission to inquire about the February 19, 2009 Madras High Court incidents. He submitted an interim report on March 4, 2009 with his findings to the Supreme Court of India.
He is interested in refugee law and human rights issues, and besides being a member of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges, has presented papers on the subject. He was invited by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to Geneva for a seminar on New Forms of Persecution in 2000, and on the Justiciability of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to New Delhi in 2001.
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