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The Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra has recommended the appointment of Gujarat High Court judge, MR Shah as the next Chief Justice of the Patna High Court.
The Collegium resolution dated July 16 has recommended the appointment of Justice Shah to the office, in view of the transfer of incumbent Chief Justice, Rajendra Menon to the Delhi High Court.
The resolution states,
“Mr. Justice M.R. Shah was elevated as Judge of the Gujarat High Court on 7th March, 2004, and is now senior-most Judge of that High Court. Having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium finds Mr. Justice M.R.Shah suitable in all respects for being appointed as Chief Justice of the Patna High Court and resolves to recommend that he be appointed as Chief Justice of that High Court.”
The transfer of Justice MR Shah from the Gujarat High Court has been the subject of much controversy, with some alleging that his transfer had been delayed owing to his proximity to the ruling government. The recommendation for his transfer from the Gujarat High Court had been made in February 2016, during the tenure of Chief Justice TS Thakur.
In April 2016, Senior Advocate Yatin Oza even wrote letters to the Chief Justice of India alleging that Justice Shah’s proximity to ruling dispensation was allowing him to continue in Gujarat High court. This resulted in Oza having to face a contempt of court case, although the same was later stayed by the Supreme Court.
In November 2016, the matter even reached the Supreme Court, when a lawyer from Gujarat filed an intervention application in a case concerning the appointment of judges.
In August that year, then Chief Justice Thakur himself had made some strong remarks against the sitting judge and the Central government, stating that the Supreme Court will consider withdrawing judicial work from Justice Shah if his transfer is stalled.
Read the Resolution: