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The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended new Chief Justices for ten different high courts. It is interesting to note that the Collegium has, on more than one instance, decided to supersede judges ranking higher on the seniority list.
Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court, has been recommended to be transferred as Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, despite being junior to Justice HG Ramesh, who is the second senior most judge at the High Court.
The resolution states,
“The Collegium is making the above recommendation despite the fact that in the all-India seniority of High Court Judges, Mr. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari stands below Mr. Justice H.G. Ramesh, since the latter on an earlier occasion had chosen to deny himself the Chief Justiceship of High Court.”
Justice Ramesh had earlier expressed his disapproval at being transferred to the Madras High Court, and had refused the same. He was later made Acting Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court.
Another supersession is seen with regard to the recommendation of Justice Surya Kant of the Punjab & Haryana High Court as Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court. He has been chosen over Justice AK Mittal, who features higher on the seniority list. The resolution states,
“It is deemed necessary to add here that while making the above recommendation, we have also considered the name of Mr. Justice A.K. Mittal, who hails from the same High Court as does Mr. Justice Surya Kant. Though Mr. Justice A.K. Mittal is senior to Mr. Justice Surya Kant in the seniority of Judges of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, having regard to all relevant factors and since we consider Mr. Justice Surya Kant more suitable than Mr. Justice A.K. Mittal, we are not recommending name of the latter, for the present, for appointment as Chief Justice.”
|High Court||New Chief Justice|
|Calcutta||Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya|
|Chhattisgarh||Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi|
|Delhi||Justice Aniruddha Bose|
|Himachal Pradesh||Justice Surya Kant|
|Karnataka||Justice Dinesh Maheshwari|
|Kerala||Justice Antony Dominic|
|Manipur||Justice Abhilasha Kumari|
|Meghalaya||Justice Tarun Agrawala|
|Telangana & Andhra Pradesh||Justice TB Radhakrishnan|
|Tripura||Justice Ajay Rastogi|
Justice Aniruddha Bose of the Calcutta High Court has been recommended as Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. He will take the place of Gita Mittal J, who has been serving as Acting Chief Justice.
Justice Tarun Agrawala of the Allahabad High Court has been recommended to take the place of Dinesh Maheshwari J as Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court.
In another break from tradition, Justice Antony Dominic has been recommended as Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, which is his parent high court. On the proposed elevation of Justice Dominic, the Collegium has stated,
“It is made clear that the Collegium while making the above recommendation is conscious of the fact that Mr. Justice Antony Dominic hails from Kerala High Court and is due to retire in May this year. In this connection, the Collegium has invoked the provision of the Memorandum of Procedure which provides for elevation of a puisne Judge as Chief Justice in his own High Court if he has one year or less to retire.”
The same logic has been followed while recommending Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya as Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court.
Justice Abhilasha Kumari, who was transferred to the Gujarat High Court, has been recommended as Chief Justice of the Manipur High Court. On this recommendation, the Collegium noted,
“While making the above recommendation, the Collegium has also taken into consideration the fact that at present there is no Chief Justice from Himachal Pradesh High Court and that the turn of Mrs. Justice Abhilasha Kumari to be considered for appointment has arrived on 17th February, 2017 when Mr. Justice Deepak Gupta (PHC: Himachal Pradesh) was elevated to the Supreme Court.”
Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court, Justice TB Radhakrishnan has been recommended as Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for Telangana & Andhra Pradesh. Taking his place at the Chhattisgarh High Court will be Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi of the Patna High Court.
Justice Ajay Rastogi has been recommended for elevation as Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court, after the retirement of current Chief Justice T Vaiphei on February 28.
Read the resolutions:
Calcutta High Court
Chhattisgarh High Court
Delhi High Court
Himachal Pradesh High Court
Karnataka High Court
Kerala High Court
Manipur High Court
Meghalaya High Court
Telangana & AP High Court
Tripura High Court