Justice Prasanna B Varale has been elevated to the position of Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court by the Centre.
In its meeting on September 28, the Supreme Court Collegium, led by Chief Justice UU Lalit, recommended Justice Varale’s elevation.
According to a tweet by Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday morning, Justice Varale has been appointed Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court by Constitutional provisions.
As per the Constitutional provisions, Justice Pankaj Mittal is transferred to Rajasthan as Chief Justice of Rajasthan HC, Justice PB Varale is appointed as Chief Justice of Karnataka HC & Justice AM Magrey as Chief Justice of J&K & Ladakh HC.
I extend best wishes to all of them.
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) October 11, 2022
Earlier this year, three other senior judges of the Bombay High Court were also recommended for elevation to the chief justice of another high court or the position of chief justice of the Supreme Court.
Justice Varale was born on June 23, 1962, in Nipani, Maharashtra. After graduating in Arts and Law from Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Maratha University, he enrolled as an advocate on August 12, 1985. He joined the Chambers of advocate S N Loya and practiced civil and criminal law. In addition, he lectured at Ambedkar Law College in Aurangabad from 1990 to 1992.
At the Bombay High Court bench in Aurangabad, Justice Varale served as an assistant government pleader, additional public prosecutor, and additional standing counsel for the Union of India. The Bombay High Court appointed him as a judge on July 18, 2008.
The Mumbai Police first information report (FIR) following the death of parliamentarian Mohan Delkar last February was dismissed last month by a bench led by Justice Varale after nine petitions were filed, including Praful Khoda Patel, the administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli (DNH).
As a result, the high court bench led by him filed a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL) to proceed with a stalled project to publish the writings and speeches of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar.
A division bench led by Justice Varale also initiated a suo motu PIL in January this year wherein the court took cognisance of a news report concerning the risky journey of girls from Khirkhindi village in Satara district, who rowed a boat across the Koyna dam every day in order to reach their school. The court asked the Maharashtra government to assist school children experiencing similar difficulties.
However, the Centre has yet to announce the elevation of Bombay High Court Chief Justice Dipankar Datta to the Supreme Court, as recommended by the collegium at its meeting on September 26.
In the course of this year earlier this year, two Bombay High Court judges -two judges from Bombay High Court – Justice S S Shinde and Justice Amjad A Sayed, were elevated to chief justices for the Rajasthan as well as Himachal Pradesh High Courts, respectively. As Justice Shinde retired as the CJ of the Rajasthan High Court last month, the tenure of Justice Sayed as CJ of the Himachal Pradesh High Court will last until January 2023.
In April, Justice Abhay S Oka of the Bombay High Court was elevated to the position of chief justice of Karnataka High Court. Later,in the month of August in 2021, he also was elevated to the position of the Supreme Court judge.
The Centre, on the 6th of October, issued an announcement for the appointment of six judges to serve as additional judges for the Bombay High Court. They are Sanjay Deshmukh, Yanshivraj Khobragade, Mahendra Chandwani, Abhay Waghwase, Ravindra Joshi, and Vrushali Joshi.
The Supreme Court collegium in its September 7th meeting voted in favor of an idea to elevate them.