Hyderabad: The likely transfer of senior-most judge in the Telangana High Court, Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar had the executive committee of the Telangana High Court Advocates Association (TSHCAA) hold an emergency meeting on Friday. The committee expressed its strong opposition to the transfer of Justice Sanjay Kumar. The body called for an extraordinary general body meeting on September 3 to further discuss the issue.

Although there has been no official communication about the transfer of Justice Sanjay Kumar, the legal fraternity got wind that the decision might be taken by the Supreme Court Collegium. If the transfer decision comes through then Justice Sanjay Kumar will be transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, where he would be a junior judge. Presently Justice Sanjay Kumar is the senior-most judge in the Telangana High court since the parent court of the present Chief Justice of Telangana High Court is the Rajasthan High Court.

As per norms, the senior-most judge of a particular High Court is appointed Chief Justice of another High Court in due course. After elevation of Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court R. Subhash Reddy as a Supreme Court judge, there is no one from Telangana High Court who has the position of Chief Justice in any High Court. It is in this background that the legal fraternity in Telangana expected that Justice Sanjay Kumar would be elevated as Chief Justice of any High Court. There is a feeling that his transfer is meant to scuttle his chances of being elevated as Chief Justice.

However Justice Sanjay Kumar’s transfer issue is not the first, in 2017 the Karanataka High Court Bar Association held agitations protesting the transfer of Justice Jayant Patel to the Allahabad High Court as a junior judge, at a time when it was imminent that he would become Chief Justice. Justice Jayant resigned protesting his transfer. In 2018, the transfer of Justice Akil Kureshi of Gujarat High Court to the Mumbai High Court evoked protest from the High Court Bar Association.

20 senior advocates had written to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and other members of the Supreme Court collegium expressing “deep anguish” and “dismay” over its decision.
The lawyers pointed out that the transfer of justice Kureshi as the fifth senior-most judge of Bombay High Court sends a wrong signal, affects the morale of independent judges, and does a great disservice to the institution.

Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar graduated from the Nizam College in Hyderabad. He got his Law degree from the Delhi University in 1988 and enrolled as a member of the Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh in August 1988. He was elevated to the Bench as Additional Judge, High Court of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, on August 8, 2008, and assumed charge as Permanent Judge of High Court of Andhra Pradesh on January 20, 2010

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