Five High Courts get new Chief Justices

The move comes two days after the govt. assured the SC that such appointments are ‘topmost priority’

Two days after the government assured the Supreme Court that appointment of judges to the High Courts is its “topmost priority,” five new Chief Justices have been appointed to Kerala, Calcutta, Sikkim, Tripura and Manipur High Courts on Friday.
The senior most judges of these High Courts have been elevated as Chief Justices in a much-anticipated wait for filling up burgeoning judicial vacancies which have reached well over 480 in High Courts across the country.

Justice Girish Chandra Gupta of the Calcutta High Court will be its new Chief Justice. The High Court was without a Chief Justice after Justice Manjula Chellur was transferred as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court recently.

Acting Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, Justice Shantanagoudar Mohan Mallikarjunagouda, has been elevated as its new Chief Justice. Acting Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court, Justice Satish Kumar Agnihotri, has been confirmed as the High Court’s Chief Justice. Justices Tinlianthang Vaiphei and Rakesh Ranjan have been elevated as Chief Justices of Tripura and Manipur High Courts, respectively.


The appointments come at a time when 35 recommendations of the Collegium on fresh judicial appointments and elevation of judges as High Court Chief Justices are awaiting clearance at the highest levels in the government.

On Wednesday, the Centre had assured a Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur that there is no logjam in filling up of judicial vacancies.

In an indirect counter-attack on the judiciary’s take that the government is sitting on recommendations made by the Collegium, Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi told the Chief Justice’s Bench that the delay in appointments process starts with the judiciary itself.

The top government law officer blamed the High Courts of delaying the process of judicial appointments by not just months, but years together. He cited the case of the Allahabad High Court, which has the “oldest” judicial vacancies dating back to 2007. He submitted that despite the almost nine-year delay in filling up vacancies, the HC started the process only in February this year.

Source - The Hindu

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