A view of Bombay High Court (DH Photo)

Second senior-most judge of Bombay High Court SC Dharmadhikari resigns


In a development that raised many eyebrows, Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari, the second senior-most judge of the Bombay High Court has resigned.

Justice Dharmadhikari (59), who belongs to the illustrious Dharmadhikari-family - who are in judicial profession - has sent his resignation to President Ram Nath Kovind,  on Thursday evening.

"I have demitted is my last day," Justice Dharmadhikari told the court on Friday morning after Advocate Mathew Nedumpura rose and mentioned a petition seeking hearing next week.

This came as a bolt to the blue in the corridors of the Bombay High Court.

Later,  briefly speaking to reporters, he said that he has resigned purely because of family and personal reasons.

"I had to resign purely  because of personal and family issues. I did not want to leave Mumbai and they were not ready to elevate me as (Acting) Chief Justice  (of Bombay High Court)," he said.

Justice Dharmadhikari figures as No. 2 in the list of Bombay High Court judges after Justice Pradeep Nandrajog,  who is the Chief Justice.
Justice Nandrajog is due to retire later this month.

Justice Dharmadhikari was appointed judge of Bombay High Court on 14 November, 2003,  and was due to retire in 2022. It is not yet known whether the President had accepted his resignation or not.

The Dharmadhikari family from Central India is known to serve the judiciary for generations. The family had been associated with Mahatma Gandhi and the Sarvodaya movement.  

With the sudden resignation of Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari, the second senior-most judge, the family is in focus once again. Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari's brother Ashutosh is an eminent lawyer.

Their father,  Justice Chandrahekar Dharmadhikari was the Acting Chief Justice of Bombay High Court. A Gandhian, a powerful orator, he was associated with many movements and associations -- he passed away last January.  

Justice Chandrashekar Dharmadhikari's late father Acharya Dada Dharmadhikari was a freedom fighter and Gandhian thinker while mother Damyanti Dharmadhikari took part in individual Satyagraha in 1941 and Quit India movement in 1942.  

Dada Dharmadhikari's father TD Dharmadhikari was a lawyer and Gandhian. Chandrashekar Dharmadhikari's brothers Pradyumna Dharmadhikari and Yashwant Dharmadhikari too were in legal profession. Pradyumna Dharmadhikari's son Justice BP Dharmadhikari is the third senior-most judge of Bombay High Court.