The second senior-most judge of the Bombay High Court, Justice Dharmadhikari, who resigned Thursday, has delivered some of the most important judgments over the past decade. Recently, he took a strong note of the “deliberate measures” made by the tribal development department to “shield” officials allegedly involved in the tribal welfare scheme scam despite repeated court directions.
On Thursday, he tendered the resignation to the President of India citing “personal and family” reasons after he was likely to be elevated as the Chief Justice of a high court of another state.
Currently, Justice Dharmadhikari was presiding over a plea of television broadcasters challenging the new tariff order by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
In a landmark judgment, in November 2019, Justice Dharmadhikari had set aside a National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Mumbai Bench order that initiated insolvency proceedings against software firm Rolta India Limited and raised concerns about the functioning of the tribunal.
In August last year, a division bench of Justice Dharmadhikari had directed the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police to file FIR against Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and a few other politicians from across political parties in connection with the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank Ltd (MSCB) case.
In March 2019, Justice Dharmadhikari was part the two-member High Court bench that had summoned Maharashtra Home Department’s additional chief secretary and said the state has been reduced to a “laughing stock” by adopting elementary methods in probing rationalist Govind Pansare’s killing.
He had also led the bench that had refused to declare Mumbai’s Aarey Colony a forest area.
Justice Dharmadhikari was also hearing public interest litigations (PILs) filed by Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Limited depositors, demolition of illegal bungalows on Alibaug beachfront, Melghat malnutrition, and pleas against illegal political hoardings on roads.
He has also dealt with cases pertaining to the Mumbai civic body’s Tree Authority in connection with the environmental violations for Metro projects.
Elevated as additional judge of the Bombay High Court on November 14, 2003, he was due to retire in 2022.
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