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HomeIndiaGovernanceSupreme Court collegium recommends chief justices for 5 high courts

Supreme Court collegium recommends chief justices for 5 high courts

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The collegium, headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, filled the vacancies in the Calcutta, Sikkim, Gauhati, Bombay and Uttarakhand high courts.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court collegium this week has recommended chief justices for five high courts — Calcutta (Justice D.K. Gupta), Sikkim (Justice Vijai Kumar Bist), Gauhati (Justice A.S. Bopanna), Bombay (Justice N.H. Patil) and Uttarakhand (Justice Ramesh Ranganathan).

The resolution, published Friday, comes within 10 days of Ranjan Gogoi taking over as Chief Justice of India and head of the collegium.

It follows his video conference meeting last week with the chiefs of all 24 high courts, in which he had asked the CJs to hold meetings of the HC collegiums regularly, and recommend names so that the large number of judge vacancies can be filled.

Gogoi is also learnt to have suggested to the CJs to ensure that only deserving candidates be recommended for judgeship.

Who are the chosen ones and why?

It is interesting to point out that in two instances the collegium invoked rules from the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) — currently with the Central government for approval — which provides for the elevation of a puisne (junior) judge as chief justice in his own high court if he has one year or less before retirement.

The collegium also relied on the fact that both Justices Gupta and Patil have been functioning as the acting CJs in their respective high courts, since the retirements of the incumbents.

Also read: New CJI Ranjan Gogoi among 10 Supreme Court judges who voluntarily declared assets

Calcutta and Bombay High Courts are two of the biggest in the country, with sanctioned judge strength of 72 and 94 respectively.

Bist, the senior-most judge from Uttarakhand High Court, replaces Justice S.K. Agnihotri, who retired as the chief justice of the Sikkim High Court in July.

Bopanna, a puisne judge from the Karnataka High Court, replaces recently-retired chief justice Ajit Singh. Bopanna superseded more senior judges from his high court like Justices H.G. Ramesh and Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh, who were also considered.

Ranganathan, currently the senior-most judge of the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court, replaces Justice K.M. Joseph as head of the Uttarakhand HC, after the latter’s elevation to the Supreme Court in August.

Also read: Be more proactive, am watching – new CJI Ranjan Gogoi tells high court chief justices


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