For all the attention that the Supreme Court (SC) of India has attracted in recent years, very little is known and understood about the personalities
who inhabit and shape the institution. Students searching for an institutional sociology or ethnography of the Court have to remain largely content with journalistic or biographical accounts. George Gadbois’ new book Judges of the Supreme Court of India generated considerable excitement as it promised to fill this gap in our legal literature. This lucidly written and carefully researched book is organised into two parts. The first contains short biographical essays on the first 93 judges of the Court (who served from 1950 to mid 1989). The second, substantially slimmer, part moves beyond individual biographical accounts to draw broader conclusions from the data, identifying, for instance, the caste or regional composition of the Court over these years. This part aims at painting a “collective portrait” of the Court, and deciphering patterns in the selection of judges.
Read the article here.