One of the three recommendations is a woman. If accepted, it will increase the number of women chief justices of high courts in India to two.
ON Thursday, the Supreme Court Collegium recommended names for appointment as chief justices to the high courts of Meghalaya, Orissa and Uttarakhand.
The collegium, which comprises Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dr D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sanjiv Khanna, made three separate recommendations to this effect.
The collegium has decided to recommend the name of Justice S. Vaidyanathan as chief justice of the Meghalaya High Court. Justice Vaidyanathan is currently the senior-most judge at the Madras High Court.
The vacancy in the office of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya arose consequent upon the retirement of Justice Sanjib Banerjee on November 1, 2023.
While recommending Justice Vaidyanathan’s name, the collegium has also taken into consideration the fact that the Madras High Court, which is one of the largest high courts in the country, is presently represented by only one Chief Justice among the chief justices of high courts.
For the Orissa High Court, the collegium has recommended the name of Patna High Court judge Chakradhari Sharan Singh as the Chief Justice.
A vacancy in the office of the Chief Justice of the High Court of Orissa arose after Justice Subhasis Talapatra retired on October 3, 2023.
While recommending the name of Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh, the collegium has also taken into consideration the fact that at present the High Court of Judicature at Patna has no representation among the chief justices of high courts.
The collegium has also recommended the name of Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Justice Ritu Bahri as Chief Justice of the High Court of Uttarakhand.
While recommending her name, the collegium has also taken into consideration the fact that the High Court of Punjab and Haryana has jurisdiction over two large states and at present there is only one Chief Justice to represent the High Court of Punjab and Haryana among the chief justices of high courts.
Besides, at present there is only one woman Chief Justice and Justice Ritu Bahri’s elevation would enhance the representation of women among the chief justices of high courts.
Currently, Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court Sunita Agarwal is the only woman Chief Justice in the country.