The Supreme Court Collegium has intimated its proposal to appoint new Chief Justices for five High Courts i.e. the High Courts of Meghalaya, Jharkhand, Madras, Madhya Pradesh and Patna.
This is understood from two Statements uploaded on the Supreme Court website, issued following a Collegium meeting on October 15, 2019. The first statement intimates the proposed elevation of two High Court judges as Chief Justices.
Justice Mohammad Rafiq of the Rajasthan High Court has been proposed to be elevated as the Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court. The Meghalaya High Court is presently being headed by Chief Justice AK Mittal, whose transfer has now been proposed to Patna, as intimated in the second statement.
Justice (Dr.) Ravi Ranjan of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has been recommended for appointment as the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court. The Jharkhand High Court is currently functioning with Justice Harish Chandra Mishra as its Acting Chief Justice, following the sudden demise of Acting Chief Justice Prashant Kumar. In effect, the Collegium has modified its earlier proposal to appoint Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court, Sanjay Karol as the next Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice.
The second statement acknowledges the modification of the Collegium’s earlier resolutions dated August 28, including a resolution proposing a swap between the then Madras High Court Chief Justice VK Tahilramani and Meghalaya High Court Chief Justice AK Mittal.
The Collegium has now recommended that Chief Justice AP Sahi be transferred instead to the Madras High Court as its next Chief Justice. Since the resignation of Chief Justice Tahilramani in protest of her transfer to the Meghalaya High Court, the Madras High Court has been functioning with Justice Vineet Kothari as its Acting Chief Justice.
Further, the present Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court, Sanjay Karol has been recommended to be transferred as the next Chief Justice of the Patna High Court, presumably to fill the vacancy that would arise if Chief Justice Sahi’s proposed transfer to Madras is signed off by the Central Government. The Collegium has, thereby, deviated from its earlier proposal to transfer Chief Justice Karol to Jharkhand, as noted above.
[Read the Statement concerning the appointment of Chief Justices to the Meghalaya and Jharkhand HCs]
[Read the Statement concerning appointment of Madras, Madhya Pradesh and Patna HC Chief Justices]