The Centre on Wednesday notified the appointment of Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court Prasanna Varale as a judge of the Supreme Court. His name was recommended for elevation by the Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on January 19. He will now be the third sitting judge of the Supreme Court from the Dalit community, besides Justice BR Gavai, who will be Chief Justice from May to November 2025, and Justice CT Ravikumar.
Justice Varale's background and career
Justice Varela, 61, is a graduate from Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad. Before his elevation as a Judge of the Bombay High Court in July 2008, he practised at the Bar for over 23 years in civil, criminal, labour and administrative law matters in District and Sessions Court and in Constitutional matters at the High Court Bench at Aurangabad. He was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court in October 2022.
Justice Varale is the senior-most judge belonging to a Scheduled Caste and the only Chief Justice belonging to a Scheduled Caste among the Chief Justices of high courts across the country.
While recommending his name, the Collegium resolution read, “He is a competent judge with unimpeachable conduct and integrity and has throughout maintained a high standard of professional ethics.” A vacancy arose in the SC on retirement of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul on December 25, 2023.