Didn’t want to shift to Allahabad HC for just 10 months: Justice Jayant Patel

Jayant M. Patel  

Justice Jayant M. Patel, the senior-most judge from the Gujarat High Court, who is at present serving in the Karnataka High Court, on Tuesday clarified that he resigned as he did not desire to shift to the Allahabad High Court along with his family with only 10 months left for his retirement.

“I did not want to move to a new place for a period of 10 months. This is the reason I resigned. I have put in 16 years in service [as judge of High Court],” he said, speaking to reporters, who met him at his chamber in the Karnataka High Court.

To a series of queries on purported reasons for not elevating him to the post of acting Chief Justice or Chief Justice of any High Court despite he being the senior-most judge, Justice Patel declined to comment citing “institutional discipline”.

He also declined to comment when asked whether his order, as a judge of the Gujarat High Court, entrusting the CBI to probe the then controversial “fake” encounter case of Ishrat Jahan and three others and monitoring the probe for some time, was the reason for denial of higher post.

Justice Patel, however, said that judges normally issue direction based on the law and do not go by the cause title [names of litigants or accused persons] of the petitions.

‘Mature family decision’

Stating that he had discharged his duty as per the oath, Justice Patel said the decision to resign was “a mature decision” by him and his family. He also said his resignation is effective from the moment it reaches the President of India, through the Chief Justice.

He is the senior-most judge after Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee in the Karnataka High Court. Being a judge not from the Kanrataka High Court cadre, he had the eligibility to become Chief Justice of Karnataka HC as it is a tradition followed by the apex court that only judges from other High Courts are appointed as Chief Justice of a High Court. Justice Mukherjee is retiring on October 9.

However, if Justice Patel had accepted the proposed transfer to Allahabad High Court, he would have become only the third in seniority.

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Printable version | Jul 23, 2021 8:06:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/didnt-want-to-shift-for-just-10-months-jayant-patel/article19758953.ece

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