SHIVA KANT JHA
A Biographical Sketch
Shri Shiva Kant Jha was born in the family of distinguished freedom fighters. He too had contributed to our country's Struggle for Freedom. He did his M.A. from Bihar University and LL.M from Patna University standing first at both the examinations. He specialized in Public International Law. His dissertation was on the law of fisheries in the high seas. He became a lecturer in Bihar University at the age of 20, and soon was appointed a permanent post-graduate lecturer in the Magadh University where he worked till 1964 when he joined the Indian Revenue Service which he served in various capacities retiring in 1998 from the post of the Chief Commissioner of Income-tax.
He was enrolled as an advocate in 1977; and was for about 15 years a paper-setter and examiner for the LL. M. Exam of the Calcutta, Patna and Nagpur Universities. He was a member of the Council for Higher Legal Studies of Nagpur University. He conducted and participated in several seminars; wrote several articles, and had the good luck of getting a reference in Property Problems in the Law of Sales written by Dr T.B. Smith, a jurist of international eminence who had been the Chairman of the Scottish Law Commission. He is the author of The Judicial Role in Globalised Economy which received high appreciation from persons like Shri D.P. Wadhwa, a former Judge of the Supreme Court; Shri Shanti Bhushan, Sr. Advocate of the Supreme Cort; Dr. M.L Upadhyaya, former Dean & Head of the Department of Law of Calcutta University; Prof Arun Kumar of the JNU. His Final Act of WTO: Abuse of Treaty Making Power (2006) has received wide appreciation.
He joined the Bar of the Supreme Court of India in 1998. As a lawyer he has conducted many important cases including the celebrated PIL challenging the misuse of the Indo-Mauritius Double Taxation Avoidance Convention which he argued before the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court. The High Court, in its judgment, recorded words of appreciation by thus [(2002) 256 ITR 536]:
“We would however like to make an observation that the Central Govt. will be well advised to consider the question raised by Shri Shiva Kant Jha who has done a noble job in bring into focus as to how the Govt. of India had been losing crores and crores of rupees by allowing opaque system to operate.”
He is the founder-director of the Bhagavad-Gita Swadhyaya Kendra at Laheriasarai, and is the founder-secretary of the Gopi Kant Jha-Draupadi Devi Charitable Trust.
An Autobiographical ASIDE:
I was born at 7.39 AM on 19 July 1937 being the Ashad Shulke Ekadasi popularly know as the Harishyani Ekadasi . The story goes that on this day for fore months Lord Vishnu goes to sleep. My mother often inspired me by saying that while going to sleep the Lord assigned for me the task overseeing the world. It reminds me of what the earthen lamp told the setting Sun in a poem by Rabindranath Tagore:
This Sun was about to set but was worried about what would happen after
he was gone. An earthen lamp said that it would illuminate within its
capacity. (Translation by mine)
But I have felt teased by the void between the expectations and reality. The lamp is still flickering, but with self consuming heat, but without light. But every withering moment brings to mind these lines from Milton's “On His Blindness”:
His state His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait
I wish I would have God's grace to keep on placing the flowers of my deeds at His feet singing inside:
(Rabindranath Tagore in Gitanjali)
["My poet's vanity dies in shame before thy sight. O master poet, I have sat down at thy feet. Only let me make my life simple and straight, like a flute of reed for thee to fill with music."]
and praying in these words with which Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone ends his A Sparrow's Flight
Father, before this sparrow's earthly flight
Ends in the darkness of winter's night;
Father, without whose word no sparrow falls,
Hear this, Thy weary sparrow, when he calls,
Mercy, not justice, is his prayer
Cancel his guilt, and drive away despair;
Reflections on life's overarching poetry have led me to endorse
the wisdom of the lines sung by Manna
Hasne ki chah ne
Kitna mujhe rulaaya hai.
[My desires for all delights all along,
Have brought me to this wrenching tearful plight]
Old memory recalled in the present plight.
Shiva Kant Jha
Note: "This S.K.Jha was the Commissioner of Income-Tax for Vidarbha at Nagpur during 1986 to 1992. This article on him came out in Nagpur Times after his transfer to Calcutta in 1992. This contains his ideas on Man, Life and Death, God, economics and taxes. Thus he yoked together important, even discordant ideas, arbitrarily together. The sublime and the ridiculous come close! I feel that though more than two decades have gone, Time has yet not made those comments stale." [ Shiva Kant Jha on Oct. 5, 2013].
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