The sudden resignation of Justice Jayant Patel has triggered strong reactions from state Law Minister TB Jayachandra and also from the state's lawyers.
The minister said, “Justice Patel was one of the most honest and best judges I have seen,” calling the development as unfortunate.
Lawyers in Karnataka are also set to boycott work for one day, Advocate-general Madhusudan R Naik told The New Indian Express. An emergency meeting is likely to be held by the state Bar Council.
Justice Patel, who is the senior-most puisne judge had tendered his resignation after he was transferred to Allahabad High Court.
He was eligible to be the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court as Chief Justice SK Mukherjee is set to retire on October 9. But the judge refused to speak on his non-elevation citing “institutional discipline”.
If he had accepted the transfer, Justice Patel would have retired being the third senior judge in Allahabad HC.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, he cited that he did not want to move to a new place for just 10 months.
“I did not want to move to a new place for a period of 10 months. This is the reason I resigned. I have put in 16 years in service,” he said.
This is not the first time that Justice Patel has been passed up for a promotion. The senior judge was the Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court, prior to his transfer to Karnataka.
Many have suggested that Justice Patel is paying the price of his ruling in the Ishrat Jahan case in Gujarat, back in 2011. Justice Patel was part of the division bench that handed over the investigation into the 2004 killings of Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh and two others, to a Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT).