Mumbai: Centre appoints nine advocates as additional judges of Bombay HC

It was functioning with 54 judges as against the sanctioned strength of 94.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Saturday, July 16, 2022, 11:32 PM IST
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Mumbai: Centre appoints nine advocates as additional judges of Bombay HC | FPJ

MUMBAI: In good news for the Bombay High Court, which has been functioning with nearly half of its sanctioned strength, the Central government on Saturday appointed nine advocates as additional judges of the HC.

As per the notification issued by the Central government, advocates Kishore Sant, Valmiki SA Menezes, Kamal Khata, Sharmila Deshmukh, Arun Pednekar, Sandeep Marne, Gauri Godse, Rajesh Patil and Arif Saleh Doctor have been appointed as additional judges of the HC.

This takes the strength of HC judges to 63.

After the appointments, Minister of law and Justice Kiren Rijiju, tweeted: “As per the power conferred under the Constitution of India, the following Advocates are appointed as Additional Judges of Bombay High Court. My best wishes to all of them!”

The High Court, which has a sanctioned strength of 94 judges, has been functioning with 54 after Justice AK Menon retired on July 11.

At justice Menon’s farewell speech ceremony, Chief Justice Dipankar Datta had remarked that the senior judge was retiring at a “difficult time”.

Since January this year six judges have retired from the High Court, including justices SJ Kathawalla, who often sat beyond court working hours to hear cases; Sadhana Jadhav, who had commuted deaths sentences of three convicts in Shakti Mills gang rape case to life sentence observing that they “deserve imprisonment for life to repent the offence committed by them, as death puts an end to the concept of repentance”.

Four more judges will be retiring by the end of this year.

Last month, two judges of the High Court, Justice Amjad Sayed and Justice SS Shinde, were elevated as the Chief Justices of the Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan high courts, respectively, thereby further diminishing the numbers.

In February, the SC Collegium had recommended names of 10 advocates to the central government to be appointed as high court judges. Nine of these have been appointed on Saturday.

The only recommended name that is not yet cleared is that of senior advocate Somasekar Sundaresan, a securities and regulatory expert.

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