[dropcap]J[/dropcap]USTICE Satyaranjan C Dharmadhikari of the Bombay High Court has resigned from the office of judge, Bombay High Court with effect from February 15. He was due to retire in January 2022.
Justice Dharmadhikari was the senior-most judge of the Bombay High Court after the Chief Justice Pradeep Nandajog, who is set to retire on February 24, 2020.
Justice Dharmadhikari sent his resignation to the President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday evening. On Friday, he publicly announced his resignation in the courtroom when Advocate Mathew Nedumpura rose to mention his petition for hearing next week. “I have demitted office … today is my last day”, said Justice Dharmadhikari to Nedumpara.
There were speculations that Justice Dharmadhikari would be the acting Chief Justice after the retirement of Chief Justice Nandrajog. However, there were also reports on talk of his transfer to Orissa High Court as a Chief Justice.
Speaking to the media, Justice Dharmadhikari said that his resignation was for purely personal reasons. He mentioned that he wanted to remain in the state of Maharashtra for his family.
After Chief Justice V K Tahilramani of Madras High Court, Justice Dharamadhikari is the second judge who has resigned in the recent past. Justice Tahilramani resigned on September 6, 2019, after the Supreme Court collegium declined her request for reconsideration on her transfer to Meghalaya High Court.
Justice Dharmadhikari came down heavily many times on public officers who were failing to perform their duties in the public interest. Most recently, he passed strictures against the Principal Secretary of the Tribal Development Department for nothing action against 123 officers who allegedly misappropriated funds allotted for the welfare of the Scheduled Tribes people.
Justice Dharmadhikari was a member of the disciplinary committee with the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa and was the member of the managing committee of the High Court.
Justice Dharmadhikari was born on January 26, 1960, in a family of lawyers. His family had been associated with the independence movement and after independence, his family was affiliated with the Sarvodaya movement. His late father C S Dheramadhakari was also a judge of the High Court of Bombay. He hails from an illustrious Nagpur family of lawyers.
After graduating in law, he started practicing as an advocate in 1983 and later went on to practice on the original and appellate side of the Bombay High Court. He was appointed as a Judge of Bombay High Court in 2003.
Speaking to the media at his chamber, he also said, “My hope is that the Bombay High Court remains the same. It stands for persons who have suffered injustice. It should continue to serve their cause. Hope this institution does not bend before the mighty state, the biggest litigant before it.”