Bhatt ceased to be a HC judge since Jan ’95: Website

PARIMAL DABHI

Former Gujarat High Court (HC) judge Sugnya Bhatt has ceased to be a HC judge since January 1995, according to the official website of the HC.

The website says that Bhatt was enrolled as an advocate of the Gujarat HC on February 28, 1968 and she was later directly appointed Judge of Ahmedabad City Civil Court on October 1, 1989. Subsequently, she was promoted and appointed Additional Principal Judge of Ahmedabad City Civil Court on November 22, 1990.

From here, Bhatt, 73, was elevated to the higher judiciary and was appointed as an Additional Judge of the HC on October 17, 1994. However, she was soon transferred to Kerala HC and was required to assume her office on November 4, 1994. And then the bio on the website says "she ceased to be a Judge w.e.f. 2.1.1995".

Some senior lawyers and a retired HC judge said that Bhatt was appointed as the Additional Judge of Gujarat HC and worked for some time. However, after her transfer to Kerala HC, she refused to refused to resume her duties there 'in protest' while citing some 'personal reasons'.

Eventually, when she did not resume the office there, her appointment as an Additional HC Judge was terminated by the authorities with effect from January 2, 1995.

When contacted, Bhatt refused to talk on any issue.

Currently, Bhatt is the chairperson of Other Backward Class (OBC) Commission of the Gujarat Government. In 2006, Bhatt has also led a Commission appointed by the state government to probe into the 2006 Surat floods. She had given a clean chit to the government. While the state government has appointed Bhatt as the leader of the Commission also consisting of former Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K C Kapoor to probe the snooping controversy, Congress party has alleged that the Commission is a pre-emptive tactic of the Gujarat Government. Recently, there were rumours that Bhatt was not inclined to take up the latest assignment.

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