Delhi HC CJ selected but appointment after 3 months

FPJ BureauUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 06:20 AM IST
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New Delhi : The Supreme Court collegium selected Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to be the new Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, but deferred his appointment until September to avoid his senior Justice S S Saron being superseded.

It felt no point of elevating Justice Saron to the post since he is due for retirement on September 3, but it put on hold appointment of Justice Mittal until Saron’s retirement on the intervention of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri that it would send a wrong signal to appoint a junior ignoring a senior, no matter even if he gets a tenure of just two months or so.

The vacancy was caused due to retirement of Delhi High Court Chief Justice G Rohini on April 14, but Justice Gita Mittal will continue as the acting Chief Justice until September when another Justice Mittal, whose retirement is only in September 2020, is appointed.

Chief Justice J S Kehar, who presides over the collegium, is himself retiring on August 27, and so the collegium decided to leave Justice Mittal’s appointment only as a recommendation for the new collegium that will be headed by Justice Dipak Mishra, who happens to be also a member of the present collegium.

Justice Gogoi is part of the present collegium while Justice Sikri is not but they were consulted as a practice since they have been the Chief Justices of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The practice is to consult the SC judges who have been in a particular High Court when elevating any judge of that High Court.

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