Justice Dipankar Dutta swears in as new chief justice of Bombay HCUpdated: Apr 29, 2020 00:24 IST
Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday swore in Calcutta high court (HC) judge justice Dipankar Dutta as the new chief justice of the Bombay high court at Raj Bhavan in the presence of limited guests including chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. After the notification of Datta’s appointment was issued on April 23, he drove over 2,000 km along with his son from Kolkata to reach Mumbai on Monday evening.
The brief swearing-in ceremony saw all the guests observe lockdown protocols like social distancing and wearing face masks. The guests included Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Devendra Fadnavis, speaker of Legislative Assembly Nana Patole, minister of protocol and tourism Aaditya Thackeray, judges of the Bombay HC, additional chief secretary (home) Sanjay Kumar, advocate general Ashotosh Kumbhakoni, director general of police Subodh Jaiswal, commissioner of Mumbai Police Parambir Singh along with family members of justice Datta.
After being appointed as the chief justice of Bombay HC by the President of India, justice Dutta decided to undertake the 2,000-km three-day road journey to Mumbai and take up his new assignment as there was no other option available to get here amid the lockdown. According to sources, Dutta and his son drove 940km the first day till Vishakhapatnam via Bhubhaneshwar, then 900km to Solapur through Vijaywada the next day, and completed the remaining 400km on Monday with a brief halt for lunch at Pune.
Justice Dutta succeeds departing Bombay HC chief justice Bhushan P Dharmadhikari, who was sworn in on March 20. Justice Dharmadhikari served his last day in office on Monday (April 27) and retired on Tuesday at the age of 62 years.
Justice Dutta, the second senior-most judge of Calcutta HC, was born in February 1965. He obtained his LLB degree from University of Calcutta in 1989 and enrolled as an advocate the same year. He practised in the Supreme Court and HCs, dealing with constitutional and civil cases. He also served as the junior standing counsel for West Bengal between May 2002 and January 2004, and as a counsel for the Union government since 1998. He was elevated as a permanent judge of Calcutta HC on June 22, 2006.