Mumbai: The Central Government has given the nod for elevating Bombay High Court Chief justice Dipankar Datta as a Supreme Court judge. His name was recommended by the SC collegium on Sept 27.
On Sunday, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted, “In exercise of the power conferred under the Constitution of India, Justice Dipankar Datta has been appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court. I extend my best wishes to him!”
Justice Datta will be taking oath as SC Justice on Monday. However, the move will further reduce the existing strength of the HC to 65. The sanctioned strength is 94. Similarly, the working strength of the apex court will rise to 28–after Justice Datta's inclusion–against its sanctioned strength of 34. He is due to retire in 2030.
Son of former Calcutta HC judge Salil Kumar Datta, Justice Datta obtained his law degree in 1989 and enrolled as an advocate the same year. He practised in the Supreme Court and high courts in constitutional and civil matters before being elevated as a permanent judge of the Calcutta HC on June 22, 2006.
He was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Bombay HC on April 28, 2020, during peak Covid period. Due to the nationwide lockdown, he drove down all the way from Kolkata, covering over 2,000km by road, to take charge.
Thereafter, the benches headed by him have passed orders in various public interest litigations (PILs), thereby streamlining steps to be taken for tackling Covid. A couple of judgments also protected the rights of prisoners, especially the ones pertaining to reduction of overcrowding in jails by granting them parole during the pandemic.
Last week, the bench headed by the CJ allowed the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL) to cut 21,997 mangroves in Mumbai, Thane and Palghar to make way for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train project.
Following a stern warning from the CJ last week, the government agreed to allow transgender persons to apply for the posts of police constables in the ongoing state-wide recruitment process. After a bench headed by CJ Datta took cognisance of the PIL challenging extensions given to then Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Pandey, the Maharashtra government appointed Rajnish Seth as his replacement. The government had appointed Mr Pandey as the DGP, superseding three other officers recommended for the post by the MPSC.
In another PIL by former top cops, CJ Datta-led bench had restrained media from displaying or initiating any debate or interview surrounding the untimely death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
1989: Obtained law degree
2006: Made permanent judge of Calcutta HC
2020: Elevated as Chief Justice of Bombay HC
Due to lockdown, drove 2,000km to take charge
Part of important verdicts on...
Streamlining Covid management
Granting parole to reduce jail overcrowding
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