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The resignation of Karnataka High Court judge Justice Jayant Patel has shaken up the legal fraternity.
Senior Advocate Yatin Oza had hit out at the Collegium alleging that it has succumbed to the Executive’s whims.
Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave has also come out strongly against the failure of the Collegium.
“Justice Patel’s resignation is a reflection on the vindictiveness of PM Modi and BJP President Amit Shah. It is a sad reflection on the so-called independence of the Collegium which failed him and the judiciary by compromising with the Executive and agreeing to bypass him with juniors being elevated. The conduct of Collegium shows that their words in NJAC judgement are totally hollow.
Justice Patel has come out like a shining star while those who participated in his ouster have come out as small men. I salute Patel J. and extend my warmest wishes for happiness that he deserves which he can only find according to him, outside judiciary. Hope this raises a real debate on functioning of collegium and the injustices perpetrated by it.”
However, even as lawyers and Senior Advocates have been quite vocal about the whole episode, the man himself has chosen to stay away from controversy. A day after he resigned as judge of the Karnataka High Court, Bar & Bench contacted Justice Jayant Patel, who refused to comment.
Justice Patel, who has spent around 16 years on the bench, only said,
“I have resigned to be relieved from the institution”.
Justice Jayant Patel was born in 1956 in Veraval in Gujarat. He enrolled at the Bar in 1979 and started his practice at District Court, Rajkot. In 1985, he shifted his practice to the Gujarat High Court.
He served as Standing Counsel for various central government bodies. before he was elevated as Additional Judge of the Gujarat High Court on December 3, 2001. He was made a permanent judge in 2004.
He was appointed as acting Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court in 2015, before being transferred to Karnataka High Court as a puisne judge in February 2016. He was set to be transferred to Allahabad High Court as the third senior-most judge, which is when he decided to resign from service.
With Justice Patel’s resignation, the strength in Karnataka High Court has come down from 27 to 26 as against the sanctioned strength of 62.