The Centre on Friday notified the elevation of incumbent Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Aravind Kumar, 60, to the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Kumar, who was the 27th Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court, had taken charge on October 13, 2021, on transfer from the Karnataka High Court.
In his nearly one-and-a-half-year tenure at Gujarat High Court, Chief Justice Kumar took up pendency in the state’s trial courts and high court on a priority basis, took to streamlining processes on the administrative side and undertook several measures, such as initiating ‘signal schools’, which was launched jointly by the Gujarat State Legal Services Authority (GSLSA) and Amdavad Municipal Corporation to provide basic educational facilities to children engaged in begging jobs, with buses converted into classrooms and stationed near traffic signals.
In a bid to remove the pendency of cases, patron-in-chief of GSLSA Chief Justice Kumar also conducted Lok Adalats in February, March and June last year to resolve cases pertaining to traffic challans, electricity and water bills, labour disputes and service matters related to pay, allowances and retiral benefits.
During his tenure, the quarterly clearance rate of cases at Gujarat High Court remained well above 80 per cent consistently, even seeing it go as high as 99 per cent in the July to September period in 2022. In an administrative move, Chief Justice Kumar had also set up the ‘Justice Clock’, tracking court-wise pendency, and displayed it in public as well as on the Gujarat High Court website.
In October 2022, Chief Justice Kumar also took suo motu cognisance of the Morbi bridge collapse and instituted a PIL in this regard, cracking down on the Morbi municipality and the state government for its lapses and turning a blind eye to the undue favour granted to a private entity to manage the bridge without a valid contract.
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