On 14 February, Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari of the Bombay High Court has tendered his resignation, citing personal and family reasons as he wished to remain in Bombay, rather than be transferred as the Chief Justice of another state.
As per sources, Justice Dharmadhikari informed that he has been elevated as the Chief Justice of High Court of another state. However, he is obliged to some personal responsibilities in Mumbai, which was the reason he did not intend to be transferred out of Maharashtra. Reportedly, his resignation was sent to President Ram Nath Kovind on 13 February.
“I have demitted the office. Today is my last day,” Justice Dharmadhikari announced his resignation in an open court when lawyer Mathew Nedumpara mentioned a Common Dress Code petition seeking a hearing in the court for the next week.
Later, while speaking to the Journalists, Justice Dharmadhikari stated that “the discussions about my elevation, as the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court had begun after Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani’s elevation, Chief Justice of Madras High Court. However, there were ‘certain developments’ that was ‘not known to me’ because of which I had to make a choice of either moving to Orissa as Chief Justice or to resign. I chose to resign.”
Justice Dharmadhikari who hails from a family of lawyers was born on 26 January 1960. He completed his LLB from Bombay University and was enrolled as an advocate in June 1983, following which he practiced on the original and appellate side of the Bombay High Court. Later, he was appointed as the Additional Judge of Bombay High Court on 14 November 2003 and has since then served in the post for around 16 years. His father, late Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, was also a former acting Chief Justice of Bombay HC.
To his name, he has several significant and landmark judgments on a variety of disputes and issues. He had lashed out at the government over the delay in probe into rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and communist leader, Govind Pansare’s murder case. He was a member of the Managing Committee and was also the head of 16 different committees within the High Court Library, for the past several years. He has worked for the eradication of Leprosy. He has also served as a member of the Board of Studies on Law, University of Mumbai, as well as a member of the Disciplinary Committee of Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa.
Reportedly, Justice Dharmadhikari was due to retire after two years.