Following the controversial resignation of Justice Jayant Patel from the Karnataka High Court recently, the President of India has appointed Justice HG Ramesh as the Acting Chief Justice of the Karnataka HC.
Justice HG Ramesh will serve as the Acting Chief Justice from October 10, after the present Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee retires on October 9.
Justice HG Ramesh enrolled as an advocate in July 1982. He practised at the Karnataka High Court from 1982 to 2003 and was appointed as an Additional Judge on May 12, 2003. He was made a a Permanent Judge on September 24, 2004.
In March this year, Justice Ramesh had declined to take up the post of Chief Justice of the Madras High Court. His refusal was reportedly in protest of the elevation of Justice S Abdul Nazeer to the Supreme Court.
Upset that his junior superseded him to the Supreme Court, Justice Ramesh had written a letter to the Chief Justice of India at the time.
“The Constitution of India doesn’t provide for reservation on the basis of religion or caste in the matter of appointment of judges to the high court and Supreme Court. My supersession on ground of giving representation to a minority in the Supreme Court by recommending the name of a judge, who is junior to me, is certainly not correct,” Ramesh said in a letter to Chief Justice of India JS Khehar.
Justice Nazeer was appointed despite being the fourth senior-most judge of the High Court, superseding Justice HG Ramesh, Justice Jayant Patel and former Chief Justice SK Mukherjee.
“We welcome the decision taken immediately by the Supreme Court Collegium to designate an Acting Chief Justice till the time a permanent Chief Justice is appointed. He is the senior most judge, we cannot make any further comments on this,” HC Shivaramu, President of Advocates’ Association of Bengaluru and Bar Associations told TNM.