Justice SC Dharmadhikari, second senior-most judge of Bombay HC, resigns

Citing “purely personal and family” issues, Justice Satyaranjan C Dharmadhikari, the second senior-most judge of Bombay High Court, has tendered his resignation.

Justice Dharmadhikari, who served as a High Court judge for over 16 years, forwarded his resignation to President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday. He was the second senior-most judge of the High Court, after Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and had nearly two years of tenure left.

While Chief Justice Nandrajog is set to retire on February 24, Justice Dharmadhikari was next in line as per seniority.

Several significant and landmark judgments on a variety of disputes and issues were passed by Justice Dharmadhikari. He had lashed out at the government over the delay in probe into rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and communist leader Govind Pansare murder cases. He had also led the bench that had refused to declare the “Aarey” colony in Mumbai as a forest area.

Born on January 26, 1960, Justice Dharmadhikari is said to be senior-most judge among incumbent HC judges across the country other than the Chief Justices of the High Courts.

He was elevated as an additional judge of the Bombay HC in November 2003.

According to sources, Justice Dharmadhikari was to be elevated as the Chief Justice of some other High Court. But, he was unwilling to move due to personal and family issues.

He had told a lawyer in his court on Friday that he has tendered his resignation after the lawyer sought his matter to be heard next week. “I have demitted the office, today is my last day,” Justice Dharmadhikari told the lawyer.

Justice Dharmadhikari, who hails from a family of lawyers, had completed his LLB from Bombay University. His father, late Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, was also a former acting Chief Justice of Bombay HC.