Justice Dharmadhikari, most senior judge at Bombay HC, resignsUpdated: Feb 14, 2020 23:41 IST
The Bombay high court’s (HC) most senior judge, justice Satyaranjan C Dharmadhikari, has resigned on account of “personal and family reasons”. Dharmadikari, who has served for 16 years, tendered his resignation on February 11, with effect from Friday. “I have resigned for the sake of my family [comprising his wife, son and daughter]. I am 61 now and want to be with my family,” Dharmadhikari told reporters on Friday.
Speaking about his probable elevation to the post of chief justice, Dharmadhikari said the discussion has been going on for more than four months. Discussion about his elevation started immediately after justice Vijaya Kapse Tahilramani resigned as chief justice of the Madras high court in October 2019.
“Certain developments, which were not known to me, took place in between, because of which I had to make the choice suddenly. I had no choice, but to move to Odisha or resign.”
He said he was offered the post of chief justice of the Orissa high court, but his family members did not want to move to Odisha.
He added that he, too, was reluctant to move to Odisha, primarily in view of the short tenure available to him — a little less than two years. He said that one needed at least six to eight months to settle down in a new place. “The place is new, people are different, work culture is different, practices are different,” said Dharmadhikari. “Today, the situation is different, you [judges] may not remain where you are posted and could be transferred anytime.”
Besides, he said, today, expectations were too much and the expectations created pressure on the judges. He said that senior judges were required to handle too much administrative work. “Till today, I was heading 16 different committees and was part of six more committees,” he added.
Dharmadhikari said that while he did not mind the expectations and the work pressure, he felt bad when the expectations were not fulfilled.
Dharmadhikari said he will continue to live in Mumbai and continue to be associated with law. He may take up arbitration, consultation and teaching as well.
The Bombay HC, as an institution, must remain as it is, he said. “My hope is that the high court remains the same. It stands for the persons who have suffered injustice. It should continue to serve their cause,” he said, adding, “Hope this institution does not bend before the mighty state, the biggest litigant before it.”
Dharmadikari’s daughter is a graduate in industrial psychology and has a post-graduate diploma in human resources. His son is preparing for the entrance examination for a three-year law course.