Since he is the seniormost judge, he will be the acting Chief Justice

Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal was on Thursday sworn in Judge of the Madras High Court. Since he is the senior-most Judge of the Madras High Court, he will be the acting Chief Justice, as per a notification. The strength of the court has now increased to 49 against the sanctioned strength of 60. Mr. Justice Agrawal was hitherto a Judge of the Allahabad High Court.

At a brief function in Durbar Hall, Raj Bhavan, the Governor K. Rosaiah administered the oath of office to Mr. Justice Agrawal. The Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and other Judges of the Madras High Court, and the Chief Secretary, Sheela Balakrishnan, were present. The Chief Secretary read out the notification of appointment of the new Judge. Ms. Jayalalithaa greeted Mr. Justice Agrawal by presenting a bouquet.

As per the notification of the Ministry of Law and Justice, “Mr. Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal would perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court with effect from the date of assuming office in the High Court.”

Later, at a welcome accorded to him by the Bench and the Bar in the Madras High Court, Mr. Justice Agrawal said “Judges are dependent on advocates. Unless advocates through their diligence and sincere work give the Judges the necessary assistance, they cannot answer wisely. “Our wisdom is dependent upon your advice. Our judgments reflect the assistance we have received from the Bar.”

He referred to the great heritage of the Madras High Court.

“Tallest leaders of the Bar have walked on its corridors for more than 150 years; this court has produced some of the greatest Judges. But much as the past achievements give us great pride, they cast a greater responsibility upon us to continuously improve ourselves and lift those achievements even higher. Adding to the glory of this court, not only maintaining it, is our collective responsibility.”

It should be ensured that the High Court retained its pre-eminent position as a seat of justice, and for that, both the Bench and the Bar would have to work together, he said.

The Advocate-General, A. Navaneethakrishnan, welcomed Mr. Justice Agrawal. Representatives of various advocates’ associations offered their felicitations.

After the welcome, Mr. Justice Agrawal and Justice K.Venkataraman sat as the First Bench.

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