Justice AS Oka is currently the senior-most judge in the Bombay High Court.

SC Collegium recommends Justice AS Oka as new Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court
news Courts Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 16:44

The Supreme Court Collegium on Tuesday recommended the name of senior Bombay High Court judge Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka to be the new Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court.  

In an official resolution dated April 8, the three most senior judges of Supreme Court which constitute the Collegium, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and Justices SA Bobde and NV Ramana, said, “Mr Justice AS Oka is the senior-most judge from Bombay High Court and is functioning in that High Court since his elevation. Having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium finds Mr Justice AS Oka suitable in all respects for being appointed as Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. The Collegium resolves to recommend accordingly."

It added, “While making the above recommendation the Collegium is conscious of the fact that consequent upon the proposed appointment, there will be two Chief Justices from Bombay High Court which is the second largest High Court in the country with a sanctioned strength of 94 Judges.”

The appointment of a new Chief Justice was necessitated as Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, the erstwhile Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, was elevated as a Supreme Court judge in January.

Currently, Justice Lingappa Narayana Swamy is the Acting Chief Justice of the Karnataka HC since January 17 following a Union Law Ministry notification stating the same.

Along with Karnataka, the new Chief Justices of Rajasthan, Kerala, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh HCs were recommended.

A Live Law profile on Justice Oka states, “A glance of some judgments authored by Justice Oka undoubtedly reveals that he is a judge with a liberal outlook, who gives weightage to civil liberties over powers of the state.”

He has given many landmark judgements including those revolving around noise pollution, the rights of atheists and the right to give “no religion” as an option in government application forms, a judgement striking down the beef ban in Maharashtra and encouraging prison reforms, among others.

According to the Bombay HC’s official website, born on May 25, 1960, Justice Oka started practising as an advocate in Thane district court in June, 1983 after completing his BSc, LLM from University of Bombay. He later joined the chamber of VP Tipnis, a former Judge of the Bombay High Court and former Lokayukta. He was elevated as Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court in August 2003 and later as a permanent Judge in November 2005.

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