NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday gave his nod to the appointment of Justice Tinilanthang Vaiphei as acting Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court. The decision comes two days after the Supreme Court struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) and ruled that collegium system will continue, making this perhaps the first appointment in the higher judiciary since then.
Acting Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court Justice Karanam Sreedhar Rao is retiring on Tuesday. Justice Vaiphei, the senior-most judge of that High Court, has been asked to perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice with effect from October 21.
According to Law Ministry sources, files of 21 additional judges whose terms are coming to an end by October 30 have also been sent to the collegium for immediate consideration.
The President has reappointed Bombay HC Justice V S Achalay as additional judge after the collegium cleared his name, though the formal notification is yet to come. The government also approved a recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium to re-appoint an additional judge in Bombay HC.
Law Ministry officials said Article 223 of the Constitution states when the office of Chief Justice of a High Court is vacant or when any such Chief Justice is, by reason of absence or otherwise, unable to perform the duties of his office, these shall be performed by one of the other judges as the President may appoint for the purpose.