Bombay High Court Justice Dharmadhikari quits

Mumbai, Feb 14 (IANS) Reluctant to take up his elevation and transfer as Chief Justice of another High Court, the second senior-most judge of the Bombay High Court, Justice Satyaranjan C. Dharmadhikari on Friday resigned, citing “personal and family” constraints.

Hailing from a prominent legal-judicial family of central India, Justice Dharmadhikari, 61, sent his resignation to President Ram Nath Kovind.

“I have demitted office. Today is my last day,” Justice Dharmadhikari informed a stunned courtroom here this morning, sending shockwaves in judicial circles.

In a brief media interaction later, he said: “I have to quit purely for personal and family issues. I want to be with my family. I do not want to leave Mumbai and they were not willing to elevate me as (Acting) Chief Justice here.”

Appointed as a judge on November 14, 2003 and due to retire in 2022, Justice Dharmadhikari was the No. 2 in the seniority list of Bombay High Court after Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog who retires later this month.

Touching upon his elevation as the CJ, he mentioned that it was in the offing since several months, but certain developments compelled him to take the decision to quit abruptly.

There has been speculation in some quarters whether he was being elevated as CJ of Madhya Pradesh or Odisha high courts since recently.

However, Justice Dharmadhikari plans to continue living in Mumbai along with his wife, a son and daughter and pursue law-related activities.

The Dharmadhikari family was associated with Mahatma Gandhi, the Sarvodaya and Satyagraha movements, and is known for its legal and judiciary services since generations.

Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari’s brother Ashutosh Dharmadhikari is an eminent lawyer, while their father, Justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, a Padma Bhushan awardee, was once the acting CJ of Bombay High Court who passed away in 2019.

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