Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Bombay HC gets a woman chief justice

Justice Manjulla Chellur took over as the new chief justice of the Bombay High Court on August 22. She is the second woman after Sujata Manohar (1994) to occupy the august post. The Governor of Maharashtra, CH Vidyasagar Rao, administered the oath of office to Justice Chellur in the presence of the state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, leading judges, Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar and Maharashtra Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya.

Prior to her appointment as chief justice of the Bombay High Court, Justice Chellur was the chief justice of the Calcutta High Court. She told India legal in an exclusive interview on August 22: “I have come to a very busy and extremely energetic state.” When quizzed why the same energy seemed to be lacking in the judiciary of Maharashtra, she said: “I will do my best”.

Justice Chellur was transferred from the Calcutta High Court after chief justice of the Bombay High Court, DH Waghela, retired on August 10.

The immediate problem to address, vis-a-vis the Bombay High Court, is space. The High Court is looking into the issue seriously and has taken cognizance of the plans to shift the premises. A suo motu petition on this matter is being heard by Justice AS Oka.

The president, Advocates’ Association, Western Region, Rajiv Chavan, too, was all praise for the new chief justice. “She is known to be an upright lady who takes proactive decisions. She is keen on shifting the High Court premises” he said.

Justice Chellur will retire in 2017.

Remarkable journey

  • Born on December 5, 1955 at Bellary, Karnataka.
  • Completed BA Degree from Allum Sumangalamma Womens’ College, Bellary.
  • Joined Renukacharya Law College, Bangalore and obtained LLB Degree in the 1977.
  • Enrolled as an advocate on August 11, 1978.
  • First lady advocate to practice at Bellary. Served as legal advisor for several banks, agro industries, KEB, KMF and APMC. Handled several important cases, both civil and criminal.
  • Joined Karnataka Judicial Service as District Judge on April 15, 1988.
  • Appointed Additional Judge of the High Court of Karnataka (first Lady Judge) on February 21, 2000 and Permanent Judge on August 17, 2000.
  • Was President of the Karnataka Judicial Academy from June 21, 2008 to March 25, 2010.
  • Was Executive Chairperson of the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority. As Executive Chairperson, she worked for the welfare of transgenders and arranged seminars throughout the state.
  • Assumed charge as Acting Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court on November 9, 2011.
  • Became Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court on September 26, 2012.
  • Became Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court on August 5, 2014.

—By Neeta Kolhatkar in Mumbai


Lead Pictures: (L-R) Bombay High Court; Chief Justice Manjulla Chellur


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