Of four Chief Justices appointed to High Courts, two set to retire this month

Justice Jaswant Singh will only have ten days in office as the Tripura HC’s Chief Justice, while Justice Sonia Gokani will be Chief Justice of the Gujarat HC for less than two weeks; both turn 62 this month

Updated - February 12, 2023 09:10 pm IST

Published - February 12, 2023 12:57 pm IST - New Delhi

Gauhati High Court.

Gauhati High Court. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Law Ministry on Sunday notified the appointment of four Chief Justices to High Courts, including two judges who are set to retire later this month.

Justice Sandeep Mehta, a judge in the Rajasthan High Court, has been appointed as Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court. Justice N. Kotiswar Singh, judge of the Gauhati High Court, has been made Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Justice Sonia Giridhar Gokani, who had already been named the officiating Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court, being the senior-most judge of the court, has now been officially named as the Gujarat High Court Chief Justice.

‘Sense of inclusion’

Across 25 High Courts, Justice Sabina is currently the only woman heading a High Court, as she is officiating as the acting Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court. Once she takes oath, Justice Gokani, who is drawn from the Gujarat judicial services, will join her as a second woman heading a High Court right now. But not for long — Justice Gokani will demit office on February 25, upon attaining the age of 62.

While SC judges retire at 65, HC judges demit office on reaching 62 years.

"Besides being the senior-most judge, the appointment of Justice Gokani as Chief Justice will bring a sense of inclusion and facilitate a representation for judges drawn from the services in the office of Chief Justice," the Supreme Court Collegium had said last week while recommending her name.

Also read: Two Supreme Court judges to take oath on February 13

The Collegium had asked the government to "immediately" appoint her as the Chief Justice following the elevation of Justice Aravind Kumar, who was serving as the Chief Justice of Gujarat HC, to the Supreme Court.

Justice Jaswant Singh, senior-most judge of the Orissa High Court, was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court. He is due to retire on February 22, giving him barely 10 days in office as the Chief Justice. The office of the Chief Justice in the Tripura High Court has been vacant for some time, following the retirement of Justice Indrajit Mahanty.

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