Justice D.P.Wadhwa

             Justice D.P. Wadhwa was born in Lahore, now in Pakistan.  He did his earlier schooling at Lahore and   passed matriculation examination of the Punjab University from   Government High School, Shimla.  He took his B.Sc, degree from University of Allahabad in the year 1955.  He did his LL.B. from Delhi University with proficiency in ‘Tax Laws’, ‘Administrative Law’ and ‘Labour Laws’.  He was enrolled as Pleader in 1958 and then as an Advocate in 1960.  He practised in District Courts at Delhi as well as in the Circuit Bench of the Punjab High Court at Delhi.  After Delhi High Court was established, he practiced in the Delhi High Court where he appeared in various types of civil cases and criminal cases involving economic offences.


            Justice Wadhwa was appointed prosecution counsel for the Central Board of Direct Taxes in the year 1971 and filed various criminal prosecutions at the instance of the Commissioners of Income Tax regarding  tax evasion.  In 1980 Justice Wadhwa was appointed as the first Central Government Standing Counsel in Delhi High Court where he conducted cases on behalf of the Central Government including the Department of Railways, Central Board of Excise and Customs and Central Board of Direct Taxes and handled important constitutional and other matters.  He was elevated to the bench of Delhi High Court in 1983.  During his tenure in Delhi High Court, Justice Wadhwa had   occasion to decide cases on various branches of law including those under the Arbitration Act, 1940 and also those of international arbitration. During his tenure in Delhi High Court, Justice Wadhwa had occasion to decide cases on various branches of law including those under the Arbitration Act, 1940 and also those of international arbitration.   Justice Wadhwa was Chairman of the Central COFEPOSA Board and also Delhi State COFEPOSA.  In 1995, he was appointed as Chief Justice of Patna High Court and in 1997 he was elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court of India.  He retired from the Supreme Court in the year 2000.


            While in the Supreme Court Justice Wadhwa had occasion to deal with various cases under the arbitration law and delivered important judgments.  One such judgment authored by him was on the interpretation of Section 85(2) of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996.  Justice Wadhwa was also a member of the 3-Judge Bench which decided appeal against the conviction   of 26 persons sentenced to death by a Special Court, who were accused of conspiracy relating to assassination of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.    Justice Wadhwa rendered principal judgement in that case confirming death sentence on 4 accused and sentencing some others to varying imprisonments.


            In 1987-88 Justice Wadhwa headed the Committee constituted by the Central Government to investigate lathi-charge on the lawyers at Tis Hazari Courts complex.  Justice Wadhwa was also appointed by Central Government under the Commission of Inquiry Act to look into the causes of the death of a Christian Priest and his two young sons who were burnt alive by mob in Orissa..


At Patna, Justice Wadhwa organized a Seminar on the Arbitration and Conciliation Ordinance, 1996 under the auspices of International Bar Association  (Patna Centre of the Indian Region Branch).  The Ordinance became law on 16th August 1996.


            Justice Wadhwa has vastly travelled.  In 1995 he was nominated by the Central Government in the Ministry of Law, Justice & Company Affairs to attend conference of UNCITRAL and INSOL-International held at Toronto to look into international aspects of insolvency i.e. cross border insolvency.   Justice Wadhwa also attended Conference of Insolvency Judges of the United States of America.


            When liberalization process in Telecom Sector started in India in 1992, Government of India invited tenders for grant of mobile licences in the four metropolitan cities, namely, Delhi, Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta) and Chennai (Madras).  There was challenge to the award of tenders to eight Cellular Mobile Service Providers (CMSPs), two for each metropolis.  The award of tender was challenged in the Delhi High Court at New Delhi and that matter was heard by Justice Wadhwa who delivered the judgement sitting in the Division Bench.  Justice Wadhwa was thus the first judge in the country to deal with the dispute of Mobile Service Providers and that judgement was subsequently considered by the Supreme Court of India.


On 1st March 2001, Justice Wadhwa was appointed President of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) and on 1st April 2003 he was appointed as Chairperson of Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).   He retired as Chairperson, Telecom Dispute Settlement & Appellate Tribunal on  4th May 2005.  During his tenure as President of NCDRC and then Chairperson of TDSAT, Justice Wadhwa brought these two organizations on the world map.  He established web sites and also e-mail ID of these two foremost institutions.


Presently Justice Wadhwa is heading Central Vigilance Committee constituted under the orders of the Supreme Court, by the Central Government in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution under the orders of the Supreme Court.  This Committee has been constituted to examine various aspects of public distribution including corruption in public distribution system and suggest modalities for efficient use of  Public Distribution System.