Madras High Court Current Affairs - 2019

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Justice Sanjay Karol sworn in as Chief Justice of Patna HC

Justice Sanjay Karol has been sworn in as the 43rd Chief Justice of Patna High Court. His oath for office and secrecy was administered by Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan at the Raj Bhavan in Patna. He succeeded Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi, who has been transferred as Chief Justice of Madras High Court, Chennai.

His swearing-in ceremony was also attended by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, state ministers, judges of the High Court and other senior officials.

About Justice Sanjay Karol

Career: Born and brought-up Himachal Pradesh, Justice Karol was elevated to higher judiciary as judge in high court of Himachal Pradesh on 8 March 2007. He had served as advocate general of Himachal Pradesh for 5 years. Before being appointed as the Chief Justice of Tripura high court on 9 November 2018, Justice Karol had also been on the senior panel of central government in Supreme Court.

Background

On 17 October 2019, the Supreme Court collegium made recommendation to central government to transfer Justice Karol as Patna high court Chief Justice while his predecessor Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi was recommended to be transferred as chief justice of Madras high court. Then on 30 October, Central government finally issued notification regarding transfer of judges as per the recommendation of collegium with condition that they would assume charge of their respective office on or before November 13.

High Courts in India

Article 214 of constitution of India states that- each state of India shall have a High Court. The Chief Justice of a High Court is appointed by President with consultation of Chief Justice of India (CJI) and the Governor of respective State, in accordance to Article 217 of Indian constitution.

Madras High Court Upholds Decision to cancel Vellore Poll

Madras High Court has dismissed two writ petitions filed against the Presidential decision to rescind the Lok Sabha poll notification for the Vellore parliamentary constituency in the wake of complaints of large-scale distribution of cash to voters.

Why the Lok Sabha Polls in the Vellore Constituency was cancelled?

Lok Sabha election to the Vellore constituency was cancelled following the recovery of a huge amount of cash allegedly from a DMK candidate’s office.

The Election Commission had decided to cancel the polls after the district police had filed a complaint against the accused, Kathir Anand (DMK Candidate from Vellore) as well as two party functionaries on the basis of a report from the Income Tax department on April 10.

Observation made by the Madras High Court

Writ petitions were filed by AIADMK candidate A.C. Shanmugam and independent candidate K. Sugumar, who sought a direction to the Election Commission (EC) to conduct polls for the Vellore constituency along with 38 others in the State on 18th April.

The Supreme Court rejected the petitioners claim that the Constitution does not confer upon the President any power to countermand an election and, therefore, a gazette notification issued by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice notifying the decision of the President to rescind the poll notification should be declared ultra vires.

The High Court pointed out that it was the EC that had made the recommendation for countermanding the polls to the President by exercising powers conferred on it under Article 324 of the Constitution, Section 21 of the General Clauses Act of 1897 and other enabling powers aimed at ensuring the conduct of free and fair elections.

It was the President who had notified the polls on March 19 on the basis of a recommendation made by the EC and by exercising powers conferred on him under Section 14 of the Representation of the People Act of 1951. Hence President was right in rescinding the notification on the basis of EC’s subsequent recommendation.