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Supreme Court Collegium recommends new Chief Justices for 13 HCs

The Times of India logo The Times of India 18-09-2021 Dhananjay Mahapatra
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NEW DELHI: In the biggest ever single-stroke reshuffle in constitutional courts, the Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Friday recommended appointment of eight High Court judges as Chief Justices of various HCs and transferred five HC chief justices as head of other HCs, thus taking steps to put in place new chief justices in 13 states.

The Collegium also recommended transfers of 28 HC judges from their present HCs to other HCs, many on request and others for better administration of justice, SC sources said. Never before had the Collegium at one go ordered such a big reshuffle involving 41 HC Judges - 13 HC chief justices and 28 Judges. All the recommendations are expected to reach the Union law ministry by Saturday for processing.

Justice Rajesh Bindal, who as acting chief justice of Calcutta HC had stirred a few feathers in West Bengal by staying the bail granted to TMC ministers and MLAs arrested in Narada scam on a letter petition by CBI, has been recommended to be appointed as the Chief Justice of Allahabad HC, the biggest HC in the country with a sanctioned strength of 160 judges.

Chief Justice of Tripura HC, Akil Kureshi has been recommended to be transferred to Rajasthan HC as CJ. The insistence on recommending Justice Kureshi’s name for appointment as SC judge by a former Collegium member had virtually deadlocked Collegium deliberations for nearly a year.

The Collegium could resume HC judge and CJ selection after the retirement of that SC judge last month. Within a month the SC Collegium headed by CJI Ramana filled 9 vacant posts in SC and recommended over 110 names for appointment as HC judges.

The Collegium, also comprising Justices U U Lalit, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and L N Rao held marathon meetings spanning days, which resulted in the CJI and four most senior SC Judges sitting half an hour late in the court on two consecutive days, to finalise names of HC judges suitable for heading state judiciaries as well as transfer five CJs to other HCs for better administration of justice.

Other 4 CJs who have been transferred are: Justice Arup Kumar Goswami, transferred from Andhra Pradesh HC to Chhattisgarh HC; Justice Mohd Rafiq from Madhya Pradesh to Himachal Pradesh HC; Justice Indrajit Mahanty from Rajasthan HC to Tripura HC and Justice Biswanath Somadder from Meghalaya to Sikkim HC.

Justice Prakash Srivastava, who is the senior-most judge in Madhya Pradesh HC, has been recommended to be appointed as the Chief Justice of Calcutta HC. Acting chief justice of Chhattisgarh HC Prashant Kumar Mishra is recommended to be appointed as the chief justice of Andhra Pradesh HC.

Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi of Allahabad HC has been recommended for appointment as the Chief Justice of Karnataka HC. Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, whose parent HC is Madhya Pradesh and is presently posted as Judge in Karnataka HC, has been recommended for appointment as Chief Justice of Telangana HC. The HC CJ post was vacant after appointment of Justice Hima Kohli as judge of the Supreme Court.

Justice Ranjit V More, from Bombay HC and presently the most senior judge in Meghalaya HC, has been recommended for appointment as CJ of Meghalaya. Karnataka High Court Judge Arvind Kumar has been recommended for appointment as CJ of Gujarat HC.

Justice Ravi Vijaykumar Malimath, who hails from Karnataka and presently the acting chief justice of Himachal Pradesh, has been recommended for appointment as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh HC.

The 28 HC judges transferred to different HCs are: Justice Sabina from Rajasthan to Himachal Pradesh; Justice A.M. Badar from Kerala to Patna; Justice Vivek Agarwal from Allahabad to Madhya Pradesh: Justice Sudip Ahluwalia from Punjab and Haryana HC to Calcutta HC; Justice Ravi Nath Tilhari from Allahabad to Andhra Pradesh; Justice Chandra Dhari Singh from Allahabad to Delhi HC; Justice Anoop Chitkara from Himachal Pradesh to Punjab and Haryana HC; Justice Yashwant Varma from Allahabad to Delhi; Justice T S. Sivagnanam from Madras to Calcutta: Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava from Chattisgarh to Rajasthan; Justice Arindam Sinha from Calcutta to Orissa HC.

Justice Ujjal Bhuyan from Bombay to Telangana: Justice Sureshwar Thakurfrom Himachal Pradesh to Allahabad;: Justice Jaswant Singh from Punjab and Haryana to Orissa HC; Justice Subhash Chand (Additional Judge) from Allahabad to Jharkhand; Justice M.S.S. Ramachandra Rao from Telangana to Punjab and Haryana; Justice M.N. Bhandari from Allahabad to Madras; Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah from Patna to Andhra Pradesh; Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra from Orissa to Uttarakhand; Justice Soumen Sen from Calcutta to Orissa; Justice P B Bajanthri from Karnataka to Patna; Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma from Rajasthan to Patna; Justice Paresh R Upadhyay from Gujarat to Madras; Justice Amarnath Goud from Telangana to Tripura; and, Rajan Gupta from Punjab and Haryana to Patna.

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