Unhappy over being transferred to Patna, a Bombay High Court judge, Justice Rajiv Shyamrao Mohite, has resigned in protest. Justice Mohite (53), is understood to have sent his resignation letter to President Pratibha Patil, citing “personal reasons.”
His name figured in the list of 12 HC judges, whose names were recommended by Chief Justice of India, Justice S.H. Kapadia, to be transferred in “public interest,” HT has learnt.
HT had reported on September 12 about the CJI’s move to transfer the highest number of HC judges in one go since 1993.
Justice Mohite, who was appointed an additional judge of the Bombay High Court in 2001, was one of the youngest lawyers to be appointed a judge at the age of 43.
Sources in the law ministry confirmed the recommendation by CJI Kapadia to transfer Justice Mohite, but declined to comment on his resignation.
“We are yet to receive any communication from the President in this regard,” said a ministry official.
No reason other than “public interest” was cited in the letters written to judges whom the CJI-led panel of seniormost judges in the country (Supreme Court collegium) wanted to be transferred.
This appears to be the first sign of defiance against the collegium’s recommendation to shift High Court judges.
Justice Mohite, who could not be contacted for his response, reportedly wanted “some time” before resuming his duties at the Patna High Court.
“He had cited compelling family reasons to seek some time before being shifted to Patna, but this was apparently not allowed,” said a source close to the judge.