Justice Ashok Bhushan was sworn in today as the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court. The oath was served by Governor P. Sathasivam at a function in the Raj Bhavan. The occasion saw the presence of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, along with some of his cabinet colleagues.
This is a rare event where 6 months ago the Acting Chief Justice had served the oath for appointment of P. Sathasivam as the Governor and now the Governor has done the same for appointment of Justice Ashok Bhushan as the Chief Justice of the High Court.
It is interesting to note that this is the first instance where a former Chief Justice of India has been appointed as the Governor of Kerala. This move has received much criticism with 117 members of the Kerala High Court Advocates Association moving a resolution requesting the President to discard the recommendation made by the Home ministry. Former Chief Justice of India V.N. Khare has also stated that the move will set a bad precedent and will lead to more political intervention in the coming years. He said “There is no precedent to this. No Chief Justice of India has ever been offered or accepted this post. I would have not accepted it myself. I was never offered and would not have taken it myself either,” he said, adding, “If you create a precedent, it may be followed. Other judges may say if ‘A’ has accepted it then there is no harm in it.”
Justice Bhushan graduated in Arts in 1975 and passed LL.B. in 1979 from Allahabad University. He began his journey as an advocate after enrollment on April 9, 1979 with the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh. He worked as a Standing Counsel of Allahabad University, State Mineral Development Corporation Ltd. and Several Municipal Board, Banks & Educational Institutions.
He was elevated as a permanent Judge on April 24, 2001 and was transferred to Kerala High Court on July 10, 2014. He was appointed Acting Chief Justice, following the transfer of Manjula Chellur to the Kolkata High Court.