The Supreme Court Collegium in a resolution, Thursday, recommended the appointment of Justice Sonia Gokani as the next Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court. Justice Gokani is due to retire on February 25 and would be the first woman Chief Justice (CJ) of Gujarat HC, if her appointment is approved.
Incumbent Chief Justice Aravind Kumar has been recommended for elevation to the Supreme Court in a SC Collegium resolution dated January 31, which would thus leave the position vacant.
Besides Gujarat, the Collegium recommended Chief Justices for four other high courts where the vacancy is expected to arise soon as their current Chief Justices have been recommended for elevation to the top court.
The Collegium’s recommendation for Justice Gokani, who is the senior-most judge of Gujarat HC, notes that “the appointment of Ms Justice Gokani as Chief Justice will bring a sense of inclusion and facilitate a representation for Judges drawn from the services in the office of Chief Justice.”
Noting that with her retirement nearing, the Collegium’s recommendation should be processed “on priority,” the Collegium observed that Justice Gokani has “good credentials and is fit and suitable in all respects for being appointed as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Gujarat.”
If appointed, Justice Gokani would be the 28th Chief Justice of Gujarat HC.
Born in Jamnagar, Justice Gokani started off as an advocate and joined the judiciary in 1995 directly in the cadre of district judges as a judge of the city civil & sessions court, Ahmedabad, presiding over civil and criminal matters.
She served as the special judge of TADA court and was also the first to be appointed as a POTA court judge in Gujarat in 2003, hearing the Sabarmati train burning case at Godhra that occurred in 2002 and spurred state-wide riots until the SC stayed the trial.
Justice T.S. Sivagnanam’s name was recommended by the SC Collegium as the Calcutta High Court Chief Justice. The Collegium also recommended Justice Ramesh Sinha — who is the senior most Judge from the Allahabad HC — to be appointed as the CJ of Chhattisgarh HC.
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