Crown pros­e­cu­tor ap­pointed supreme court judge

Vikas Kha­l­ad­kar: lawyer, arche­ol­o­gist, friend of Fred­die Mercury and now judge

The Packet (Clarenville) - - SPORTS - BY TARA BRAD­BURY THE TELE­GRAM ST. JOHN’S, NL Tara.brad­bury@thetele­ Twit­ter: @tara_brad­bury

He may well be the most in­ter­est­ing man you’ve ever met.

Be­sides his long ca­reer as a lawyer, Vikas Kha­l­ad­kar has ex­pe­ri­ence as an arche­ol­o­gist, in­ven­tor, pho­tog­ra­pher, fa­ther and grand­fa­ther, im­mi­grant to Canada and school friend of Fred­die Mercury.

Now he can add New­found­land and Labrador Supreme Court judge to the list.

Kha­l­ad­kar’s ap­point­ment to the court’s trial divi­sion was an­nounced Fri­day by fed­eral Jus­tice Min­is­ter Jody Wil­sonRay­bould.

Kha­l­ad­kar had been a Crown pros­e­cu­tor with the Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tions Of­fice since 2007, hav­ing ac­cepted a one-year po­si­tion that be­came per­ma­nent.

Born in Dar es Salaam (in what is now Tanzania), Kha­l­ad­kar at­tended board­ing school in In­dia start­ing at age seven, along­side the fu­ture Fred­die Mercury of Queen. Kha­l­ad­kar and his fam­ily im­mi­grated to Canada in 1962 and set­tled in Saskatchewan.

After earn­ing a de­gree in an­thro­pol­ogy and psy­chol­ogy from the Univer­sity of Saskatchewan in 1972, Kha­l­ad­kar started law school, but took a year off to work as an arche­ol­o­gist on an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact study in that prov­ince. He met his fu­ture wife, a New­found­lan­der, on that project and the cou­ple now have two chil­dren and two grand­chil­dren.

Kha­l­ad­kar was called to the Saskatchewan bar in 1977 and prac­ticed law there for 30 years. He was the first gen­eral coun­sel for what is now called the Fed­er­a­tion of Sov­er­eign In­dige­nous Na­tions, and rep­re­sented the or­ga­ni­za­tion in ne­go­ti­a­tions lead­ing up to the Char­lot­te­town Ac­cord.

In 1994, he was co-coun­sel on the first Cana­dian char­ter case deal­ing with an ac­cused’s right to coun­sel with­out de­lay heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.

In this prov­ince, Kha­l­ad­kar has pros­e­cuted a num­ber of high-pro­file cases, in­clud­ing that of Trevor Pardy, who was con­victed in 2015 of first-de­gree mur­der for the shoot­ing death of his ex-girl­friend, Triffie Wad­man, as well as all cases that have come be­fore the court re­lat­ing to breaches of pri­vacy of in­for­ma­tion law.

Ac­cord­ing to his LinkedIn pro­file, Kha­l­ad­kar in­vented a sys­tem for man­ag­ing bingo games via com­put­er­ized track­ing and pro­duc­tion of cards, mak­ing it eas­ier to de­ter­mine win­ners and harder for play­ers to cheat. He is also an ac­com­plished na­ture pho­tog­ra­pher.

Kha­l­ad­kar is re­plac­ing New­found­land Supreme Court Jus­tice Richard LeBlanc, who elected su­per­nu­mer­ary sta­tus at the end of Septem­ber.

Vikas Kha­l­ad­kar

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