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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Gujarat HC judge, who was critical of state govt during Covid, elevated to SC

Two judges were recommended by the Collegium for elevation to the Supreme Court — Gauhati High Court Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice J B Pardiwala.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
Updated: May 7, 2022 8:44:16 pm
Justice Pardiwala, a native of Valsad and born in Bombay in 1965, is expected to serve at the Supreme Court until his retirement in 2030. (Gujarat High Court website)

Following the Supreme Court Collegium’s recommendation for elevation of Justice Jamshed Burjor Pardiwala of Gujarat High Court to the Supreme Court earlier this week, the Union Ministry of Law and Justice Saturday issued a notification confirming the elevation and his appointment to the apex court.

Two judges were recommended by the Collegium for elevation to the Supreme Court — Gauhati High Court Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Pardiwala — and the appointments division of the department of justice under the ministry confirmed both the elevations Saturday.

Justice Pardiwala, a native of Valsad and born in Bombay in 1965, is expected to serve at the Supreme Court until his retirement in 2030. The fourth-generation legal professional started from the Bar in 1989 and moved to the Bench in 2011, followed by his confirmation as a permanent judge at Gujarat High Court in 2013.

In 2015, as many as 58 members of the Rajya Sabha petitioned the then Vice-President of India and Rajya Sabha Chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari to initiate an impeachment proceedings against Justice Pardiwala for his “unconstitutional” remarks against reservations in a case pertaining to Patidar leader Hardik Patel and others, where they had sought quashing of sedition charges against them.

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Justice Pardiwala had expunged the remarks subsequent to the Rajya Sabha members’ petitioning. He had initially observed that in his opinion, reservation and corruption are two things “that have not allowed the country to progress in the right direction”. These remarks were later deleted through a ‘speaking to minutes’ order.

At Gujarat High Court, Justice Pardiwala has presided over criminal, civil, taxation and commercial matters, and has also adjudicated over environment-related issues, including taking up the issue of pollution of Sabarmati river in a suo motu cognisance. Justice Pardiwala has around 1,012 reportable judgments on varied subjects.

In May 2020, he was heading a division bench presiding over a PIL pertaining to the handling of Covid-19 in Gujarat, where the bench had compared the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital to a “dungeon”, refusing to give the state government a clean chit on its narrative of all being well. At the time, Justice Pardiwala had also taken suo motu cognisance of several media reports highlighting the plight and issues of migrant labourers as well as of the high mortality rate in the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. Days later, Justice Pardiwala was abruptly shuffled out of the bench with a roster change on the last working day of the week.

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