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Centre notifies names of new Madras, Bombay HC Chief Justices

The Centre on Friday notified the names of Chief Justices of Madras High Court and Bombay High Court.According to the notification, Justice Ramesh Deokinandan Dhanuka, Judge of the Bombay High Court, will be the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.Centre also appointed Justice Sanjay Vijaylcumar Gangapurwala, Judge, Bombay High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court. The Supreme Court collegium last month recommended the elevation of Justice Ramesh Dhanuka as Chief Justice of Bombay high court. The Collegium resolution stated that Justice Dhanuka served the High Court with distinction since his appointment.

“Over the last 11 years, he has acquired sufficient experience on the judicial and administrative side as a puisne judge of the High Court. In view of the fact that Justice Dhanuka has a short tenure as noted above, in terms of the Memorandum of Procedure, the Collegium resolves to recommend his appointment as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Bombay. In terms of the procedure, consultation has been held with the consultee-Judge/s with a view to ascertain his suitability for appointment as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. The consultee-judge/s have concurred with the proposed appointment,” the resolution stated.

The collegium, comprising Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kaul and K M Joseph, had also recommended the appointment of Acting Chief Justice of Bombay high court Sanjay Gangapurwala as Chief Justice of Madras high court.Justice Gangapurwala was elevated as an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court in 2010. In December 2022, he was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court after the then Chief Justice Dipankar Datta was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court.

In the process, the Collegium has recalled its earlier recommendation to transfer Orissa High Court Chief Justice Justice S Muralidhar to Madras High Court.The resolution noted that Justice Muralidhar has less than four months to demit office. The Collegium said that while his appointment as Chief Justice of Madras High Court was made in September 2022, it remained pending with the government.In view of this delay, the resolution recommending the transfer of Justice Muralidhar was recalled to facilitate the appointment of Justice Gangapurwala as the permanent Chief Justice of the Madras High Court.

“The Collegium resolved on September 28, 2022, to transfer Dr Justice S Muralidhar, Chief Justice of the High Court of Orissa to the Madras High Court. The recommendation has remained pending with the government of India since then without any response. Dr Justice Muralidhar now demits office on August 7, 2023, leaving less than 4 months’ time,” the resolution stated.

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