SC To Get Its 3rd Dalit Judge, Collegium Recommends Elevation Of K'taka HC Chief Justice Varale

SC To Get Its 3rd Dalit Judge, Collegium Recommends Elevation Of K'taka HC Chief Justice Varale

Justice Varale stands at no 6 in the combined all-India seniority list of High Court Judges. In the seniority list of Judges of the Bombay High Court, he is the senior-most Judge.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Saturday, January 20, 2024, 12:10 PM IST
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Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court Prasanna B Varale | FB

The Collegium, headed by the Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, has recommended the elevation of Justice Prasanna B Varale, Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, as a Judge of the Supreme Court. Should his appointment be cleared by the Centre, Justice Varale will be the third Dalit judge in the top court, after Justice BR Gavai - who will be Chief Justice from May to November 2025 - and Justice CT Ravikumar. This will be the first time ever there will be three Dalit judges in the Supreme Court. Justice Varale stands at no.6 in the combined all-India seniority list of High Court Judges. In the seniority list of Judges of the Bombay High Court, he is the senior-most Judge.

Justice Varale belongs to Scheduled Caste and is the only Chief Justice of HC in the country 

The Collegium, while recommending his name, took into consideration that among the High Court Judges, he 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. 

As Bombay high court judge, a division bench headed by Justice Varale took suo moto (on its own) cognizance of a stalled project of the Maharashtra government to publish the writings and speeches of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar at the cost of ₹5.45 crore, observing that it reflected 'sorry state of affairs'. A bench led by Justice Varale, in October 2022, also took suo motu cognisance of the plight of girl students from village Khirvandi, in Satara, who have to undertake an "adventurous journey" by boat and then through the forest, to reach a nearby school. 

HC asked the state govt to take all measures

The HC had asked the State Government to take all measures to provide necessary assistance. In September 2022, Justice Varale's bench quashed a case registered against all nine accused, including Dadra and Nagar Haveli administrator Praful Khoda Patel, in the case of abetment of suicide of parliamentarian Mohan Delkar in February 2021. 

About Justice Varela

Justice Varela, 61, is a graduate of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad; he has practised law (specifically civil, criminal, labour, and administrative matters) for over two decades and previously served in the Bombay High Court. The Collegium observed that the judgments authored by him deal with a variety of issues in every field of law. "He is a competent judge with unimpeachable conduct and integrity and has throughout maintained a high standard of professional ethics," said the Collegium's resolution. 

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