While making the recommendation , the collegium comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice MB Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph pointed out that the office of the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court has been lying vacant for quite some time, since the retirement of Justice Manjula Chellur in December last year.
“Mr. Justice N.H. Patil is the senior-most Judge from Bombay High Court and at present is functioning as Acting Chief Justice of that High Court. Having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium finds Mr. Justice N.H. Patil suitable in all respects for being appointed as Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. The Collegium resolves to recommend accordingly,” it then recommended.
The collegium further clarified that it has also taken into consideration the fact that at present there are two Chief Justices from Bombay High Court, but pointed out that one of them, Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court Justice DB Bhosale, is set to retire on 23 October this year. This, it said, will leave only one Chief Justice from Bombay High Court, which is one of the biggest high courts with sanctioned strength of 94 judges.
Furthermore, the resolution clarifies that it is invoking the provision of the Memorandum of Procedure which provides for elevation of a puisne Judge as Chief Justice in his own High Court if he has one year or less to retire. This was after acknowledging the fact that Justice Patil hails from Bombay High Court and is due to retire in April 2019.