Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari, who had been appointed the Acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court recently, has been made the Chief Justice of the High Court. A communication to this effect was signed by the President of India and issued, today. Justice M N Bhandari was transferred to the Madras High Court in November last year and he assumed office as the ACJ on November 22.
Born on September 30, 1960, Justice Bhandari enrolled himself as a lawyer in May, 1983. He was elevated from the Bar to the Bench of the Rajasthan High Court in July, 2007 and transferred to the Allahabad High Court in March, 2019, from where he was transferred and posted as the ACJ of the Madras High Court in November last year. Justice Bhandari had taken over as the acting chief justice of Madras HC following the transfer of Justice Sanjib Banerjee to the Meghalaya HC in November last year.
The Law Ministry also notified the appointment of a total of 12 advocates and three judicial officers as judges of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh high courts. While seven advocates were elevated to the Andhra Pradesh HC, three advocates each were appointed to the Orissa and Madhya Pradesh high courts. Three judicial officers were also appointed as judges to the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
These are the first fresh appointment of judges to high courts this year. Last year, a total of 120 judges were appointed to various high courts.
In a written reply, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday informed the Rajya Sabha that as on February 4, against the sanctioned strength of 1,098 judges in high courts, 687 judges wee posted, leaving 411 vacancies to be filled.
"At present, 172 proposals are at various stages of processing between the government and the Supreme Court Collegium. Further recommendations from High Court Collegiums are yet to be received in respect of remaining 239 vacancies in HCs," he said.