May 28, 2023
Home » Bombay high court gets a new chief justice, but only for 4 days | Mumbai News
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MUMBAI: Bombay high court on Friday finally got a new chief justice with the President appointing Justice RD Dhanuka as its 46th CJ. He will be chief justice for four days, the shortest tenure so far for a judge occupying the top post at Bombay HC. He will be administered the oath at Raj Bhavan on Sunday.
Justice Ramesh Dhanuka was appointed HC judge on January 23, 2012 and is due to retire on May 30, 2023. The retirement age of HC judges is 62. The Supreme Court Collegium had recommended the elevation of Justice Dhanuka as CJ of Bombay HC on April 19.
The HC had been without a permanent chief justice for over five months, since former CJ Dipankar Datta‘s elevation to the Supreme Court on December 11 last year. Then seniormost judge Justice S V Gangapurwala was appointed acting CJ. On Friday, a notification confirming his appointment as CJ of Madras HC was also issued.
Gangapurwala was appointed Bombay HC judge on March 13, 2010 and is due to retire on May 23, 2024 unless he is elevated to Supreme Court by then.
The orders state the appointments will be in effect from the date they assume charge.
Justice Dhanuka, quick in court and encouraging towards junior lawyers, on Friday, told TOI, “It will be an honour to serve as Chief Justice of the Bombay high court even for four days.” Earlier this month, the Bombay Bar Association had given him a farewell before the summer vacation began. At the event, he said he was at the end of over a decade as a HC judge; ‘”what are your plans” is what I am asked.” So since the last 2-3 months I see an SMS, there is an offer already made to me for a part time job for Rs 350 a day in a call centre,” he said poker-faced, eliciting much laughter.
CJ Datta was appointed during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic on April 28, 2020 and had taken over after B P Dharmadhikari.
Before Justice Dhanuka, the shortest tenure for a Bombay HC CJ was of Dharmadhikari, who had a little over a month in the post before he retired on April 27.
Former Justice B H Marlapalle said Justice Dhanuka as Bombay HC CJ will “certainly have the shortest ever tenure here” but he said a former HC judge, Justice Bilal Nazki who was elevated as 23rd CJ of Orissa HC on November 14, 2009-a Saturday-and retired on November 17, 2009, had barely two working days as a CJ.





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