SC Collegium recommends new Chief Justices for four High Courts [Read Resolutions]

Bar & Bench October 31 2018

The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the appointments of Chief Justices to four High Courts i.e. those of Tripura, Allahabad, Madhya Pradesh, and Patna.

The recommendations made in the resolutions passed on October 29 are as follows.

Allahabad High Court

Justice Govind Mathur, who was appointed Acting Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court last week, has been recommended as the next Chief Justice of the High Court. Justice Mathur was transferred to the Allahabad High Court in November last year from the Rajasthan High Court. Prior to his elevation, his areas of practice included Constitutional, service and labour matters. He has also served as the standing counsel for various entities including the University of Rajasthan, Indian Oil Corporation, Water and Power Consultancy Services, New Delhi, Central Bank of India, and Punjab National Bank.

Patna High Court

Allahabad High Court judge Amreshwar Pratap Sahi has been recommended as the next Chief Justice of the Patna High Court. Justice Sahi enrolled as an advocate in 1985, following which he practiced on the Constitutional and Civil side at the Allahabad High Court. He was elevated as an additional judge of the Allahabad High Court in September 2004. In August 2005, he took oath as a permanent judge of the High Court. 

While making the recommendation, the Collegium noted that at present there is only one Chief Justice originally from the Allahabad High Court, which is the largest in the country in terms of personnel.

Madhya Pradesh High Court

Justice SK Seth of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has been recommended as Chief Justice of the High Court. If the proposed elevation of Chief Justice Hemant Gupta to the Supreme Court goes through, Justice Seth would become the senior-most judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. Following his enrolment in 1981, Justice Seth practiced in the areas of Civil and Constitutional law. He has served as an Additional Advocate General for Madhya Pradesh as well. In 2003, he was appointed as an additional judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. In January 2004, his appointment was made permanent.

In this case, the Collegium has invoked the provision of the Memorandum of Procedure which provides for elevation of judge as Chief Justice in his own High Court if he has one year or less to retire. Justice Seth retires in June 2019.

Tripura High Court

Justice Sanjay Karol, presently serving at the Himachal Pradesh High Court, has been recommended as the new Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court. While making the recommendation, the Collegium noted that at present there is no Chief Justice originally from the Himachal Pradesh High Court following the retirement of Chief Justice Abhilasha Kumari of the Manipur High Court (her parent High Court being that of Himachal Pradesh) last February.

Justice Karol enrolled as a lawyer in 1986. His areas of practice included Constitutional law, Taxation, Corporate law, Criminal law and Civil law. He has served as the Advocate General of Himachal Pradesh between 1998 and 2003. He was designated Senior Advocate in 1999. In March 2007, he was elevated as a judge of the Himachal Pradesh High Court. In April this year, he was appointed Acting Chief Justice of the High Court. He served in this role until October 5, when Chief Justice Surya Kant Rao took charge.

If Collegium resolutions recommending the elevation of the present Chief Justices of these High Courts are approved by the Central government, three of the above High Courts would have vacant Chief Justice offices to fill. Further, the Allahabad High Court is presently manned by an Acting Chief Justice following the retirement of Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale earlier this month.

Read the Resolutions:

CJ for HCs - Collegium Resolutions - Oct 29, 2018