The retirement of the Chief Justice of the Manipur High Court, Abhilasha Kumari, on Friday and the retirement of the Meghalaya High Court Chief Justice, Tarun Agarwala, in March, just within a few days of their appointments as Chief Justices, reveal that judicial appointments in the High Courts remain in a constant state of flux.
Besides Chief Justice Agarwala, six Chief Justices of various High Courts are due to retire in 2018.
Justice Antony Dominic, Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, will retire on May 29 after a tenure of just over three months since he took oath early this month.
Likewise, J&K High Court Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed is due to retire on March 15. Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice S.J. Vazifdar will follow suit on May 3.
Gauhati High Court Chief Justice Ajit Singh is due to retire on September 5 and Calcutta High Court Acting Chief Justice J. Bhattacharya on September 24. On October 10, Allahabad High Court Chief Justice D.B. Bhosale will also demit office.
Again, the posts of Chief Justice in seven High Courts have been lying vacant for the past several months.
Further, in the Supreme Court, with Justice Amitava Roy retiring on February 28, the vacancies will go up to seven, reducing the number of judges to 24. The sanctioned strength is 31. The Supreme Court will see five more retirements this year, including that of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph, all part of the Misra Collegium, will retire this year. The concern over the rising vacancies has become part of a judgment delivered by a Supreme Court Bench, led by Justice A.K. Sikri. “Timely judicial appointments, unfortunately, remains a far cry,” it