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Supreme Court Collegium recommends transfer of 5 Chief Justices of High Courts

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The Supreme Court Collegium has transferred five Chief Justices of High Courts. Here are short profiles of the 5 senior Judges.

Justice Arup Kumar Goswami

Justice Arup Kumar Goswami

The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the name of the Andhra Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami for transfer to the High Court of Chhattisgarh as the Chief Justice of that High Court.

Justice Arup Kumar Goswami was born on March 11, 1961 at Jorhat, Assam. He graduated in Economics (Hons.) from Cotton College under Gauhati University in 1981 and obtained LL.B. Degree from Government Law College, Guwahati in 1985.

He was a proficient cricketer, having represented Assam in Ranji Trophy and East-Zone in Under-19, Under-22 and at the senior level.

He enrolled as an Advocate with the Bar Council of Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh on August 16,1985 and practiced mainly on the Civil, Criminal, Constitutional and Service matters. On December 21, 2004, he was designated as Senior Advocate by the Gauhati High Court.

He has served as the Secretary General of the Gauhati High Court Bar Association for the period of 2000-2001.

On January 24, 2011, he was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Gauhati High Court and was confirmed as permanent Judge on November 7, 2012.

He has served as the Executive Chairman of Nagaland State Legal Services Authority from April 1, 2011 to August 12, 2013, as the Executive Chairman of Arunachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority from March 8, 2016 to October 14, 2019 and as then Executive Chairman of Assam State Legal Services Authority from June 6, 2018 to October 14, 2019.

Also Read: Supreme Court dismisses Kerala appeal against bail granted to two people accused of murder

He has served two terms as the Acting Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court from September 6, 2018 to October 29, 2018 and from May 24, 2019 to October 6, 2019.

On October 15, 2019 Justice Goswami was elevated as Chief Justice of the High Court of Sikkim, in 2021, he was transferred to High Court of Andhra Pradesh and assumed charge of the Office of the Chief Justice, High Court of Andhra Pradesh on January 6, 2021.

Justice Mohammad Rafiq

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The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the name of the Madhya Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq to be transferred to the High Court of Himachal Pradesh as Chief Justice of that High Court.

Justice Mohammad Rafiq was born on May 25, 1960 at Sujangarh in Churu district of Rajasthan. He completed B.Com in 1980, LL.B in 1984 and M.Com in 1986 from University of Rajasthan. He later on joined the Bar and practised as an Advocate after enrolment with the Bar Council of Rajasthan on  July 8, 1984.

He practised in the Rajasthan High Court at Jaipur in almost all branches of law and especially conducted constitutional matters, service matters, land acquisition cases, land revenue cases, preventive detention cases, customs & excise matters, railway claims cases, tax matters, company matters and criminal matters before the High Court.

He served as Assistant Government Advocate for the State of Rajasthan from July 15, 1986 to December 21, 1987 and as Deputy Government Advocate from December 22, 1987 to June 29, 1990. His Lordship appeared before the High Court as panel advocate for various Departments of the State Government such as Co-operatives, Finance, Forest, Irrigation, Urban Development and Animal Husbandry for five years, from 1993 to 1998.

He also represented the Union of India as Standing Counsel from 1992 to 2001 before the Rajasthan High Court, also representing the Indian Railways, Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board, Rajasthan Board of Muslim Wakfs, Jaipur Development Authority, Rajasthan Housing Board and Jaipur Municipal Corporation before the Rajasthan High Court.

Also Read: Supreme Court issues notice on tennis player’s appeal on being denied job under sports quota

He 0was appointed as Additional Advocate General for the State of Rajasthan on January 7, 1999 and worked in this capacity, till his elevation to the Bench.

Justice Rafiq was appointed as Judge of the Rajasthan High Court on 15th May, 2006. He has been appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court for two terms, from April 7, 2019 to May 4, 2019 and from September 23, 2019 toOctober 5, 2019. 

He has served as the Executive Chairman of the Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority and the Administrative Judge of the Rajasthan High Court prior to elevation as the Chief Justice.

Justice Rafiq was elevated as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya on November 13, 2019 and served the said office till April 26, 2020.

He was administered the oath of office of the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court on  April 27, 2020, on being transferred from the Meghalaya High Court.

Justice Rafiq was administered the oath of office of the Chief Justice of High Court of Madhya Pradesh onJanuary 3, 2021, upon being transferred from the Orissa High Court.

Justice Akil Abdulhamid Kureshi

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The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the name of the Chief Justice Akil Kureshi to be transferred from High Court of Tripura to High Court of Rajasthan.

Justice Akil Kureshi was born on March 7, 1960. He completed his B.Sc. (Mathematics) in 1980 and LL.B in 1983. He later on joined the Bar and practiced as an Advocate from month of July, 1983. 

He practised in the Gujarat High Court and especially conducted matters involving Land Acquisition cases, criminal matters and matters pertaining to Passports.

He was appointed as Additional Central Government Standing Counsel from March 1992 to March, 1998 at the Gujarat High Court. He has also served as the Additional Counsel for the Income-tax Department in January, 2000 and represented Income Tax Department in the Gujarat High Court up to December, 2001.

He was assigned entire work of the Government at Central Administrative Tribunal, Ahmedabad and handled large number of service matters on behalf of the Government.

On March 7, 2004, Justice Kureshi was appointed as an Additional Judge of the High Court of Gujarat and was confirmed as permanent Judge of the High Court of Gujarat on August 12, 2005.

On November 2, 2018, he was appointed as Acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Gujarat.

Also Read: Supreme Court Collegium recommends transfer of over 20 High Court judges

He was subsequently transferred to the High Court of Bombay and took oath as a Judge of the High Court of Bombay, on November 14, 2018.

In 2019, Justice Kureshi was elevated as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Tripura and took oath of office on 16th November, 2019.

Justice Indrajit Mahanty

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The Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Justice N.V. Ramana has recommended the name of the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court Justice Indrajit Mahanty to be transferred as the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court.

Justice Mahanty was born on November 11, 1960, in the State of Orissa to late Ranjit Mahanty, Barrister at Law and Advocate Shakuntala Mahanty. He did his schooling from Mount Hermon School in Darjeeling, West Bengal and thereafter, obtained a degree in B.Com (Hons.) from Ravenshaw College in Orissa. He obtained a degree in law from Campus Law Center, Delhi University, post which he pursued LL.M. from the University of Cambridge, England.

He got enrolled as an Advocate with the Orissa State Bar Council in the year 1984, and began legal practice under his father. Post his father’s demise in the year 1989, he started independent practice in the field of Commercial Law, Arbitration, Taxation, Civil and Criminal Writs & Service Law before the Orissa High Court and the Apex Court. He had also conducted few arbitration proceedings at London.

Justice Mahanty was elected to the Orissa State Bar Council from 1989 to 2006 and was also elected to represent Orissa State in the Bar Council of India between 1998 to 2003. In the year 2003, he was elected as the Managing Trustee of the Bar Council of India Trust. He has been a Member of Board of Governors of National Law School of India University, Bangalore from the year 2000 to 2003; and NALSAR, Hyderabad from 2000 to 2002.

He was elevated as a Judge of the Orissa High Court on March 31, 2006, and Took oath as a Judge of the Bombay High Court on November 14, 2018.

He had sworn in as the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court on October 6, 2019.

Justice Biswanath Somadder

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The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the transfer of Chief Justices of High Courts of five States to other States across the nation.

The Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Justice N.V. Ramana has recommended the transfer of Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court Justice Biswanath Somadder to the Sikkim High Court.

Also Read: SC Collegium recommends elevation of 8 judges as Chief Justices of various High Courts

Born on December 15, 1963, Justice Somadder did his schooling from La Martiniere School for Boys, Calcutta. He passed Bachelor of Arts and LL.B from the University of Calcutta. He did a Certificate Course on “Office Automation Tools” under the Computer Education Programme of Regional Computer Centre at Calcutta.

He got enrolled as an Advocate on July 21, 1989. Throughout his illustrious career as an Advocate, Justice Mahanty practised before the Calcutta High Court as well as the Supreme Court of India. He also appeared before CESTAT, Eastern Regional Bench.
Specialised in Revenue, Arbitration and Constitutional Laws, he also practised in Customs & Central Excise, FERA, Telecommunication, Education, Service & Income Tax, Company, Civil and Criminal matters.
He served as the Senior Counsel for the Central Government in the Calcutta High Court. He was elected as the Joint Secretary of the Bar Library Club of Calcutta High Court, a post he held till just prior to his elevation.

Justice Mahanty was elevated as a Judge of the Calcutta High Court on June 22, 2006. He was appointed as the Executive Chairman of the State Legal Services Authority, West Bengal, on November 5, 2018.

He was appointed as Judge-in-Charge, Administrative Department, Calcutta High Court, to discharge the functions assigned under the Appellate Side Rules of the Calcutta High Court, with effect from November 19, 2018.

He served as the Acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court from January 1, 2019 till April 3, 2019, before assuming charge as a Judge of the Allahabad High Court on October 17, 2019.

He was finally sworn-in as the Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court on April 27, 2020.

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