Shimla. October 19, 2021
A Full Court reference was held today in the High Court to welcome the 26th Chief Justice of H.P. High Court, Shri Mohammad Rafiq, who was sworn-in as the Chief Justice of High Court of Himachal Pradesh on 14/10/2021.
The proceedings of the reference were conducted by the Registrar General Sh. Virender Singh.
Speaking on the occasion, Justice Mohammad Rafiq said that he is feeling extremely happy on assuming the charge as the 26th Chief Justice of this prestigious High Court of H.P. , which has produced many eminent jurists. He stressed upon the delivery of easily accessible, speedy and cost effective justice, especially to the poor and needy and called upon the State and District Legal Services Authorities to identify all such litigants who deserve to be provided free legal aid. He beseeched all senior and other Advocates to conduct minimum five pro bono cases for such litigants every year. He also stressed upon strengthening and streamlining the Judiciary right from the lowest level and said that all efforts should be made to preserve its integrity, fairness and independence so as to make it in real sense an instrument of justice. He said that keeping this fact in mind and also the pendency of cases in the High Court as well as District Judiciary in the State, the priority should be given to dispose off all cases which are more than five years old.
He said that he expects full cooperation from all concerned to achieve the united goal of providing effective and speedy justice. He assured to resolve the genuine problems of the members of the Bar, litigants and judicial staff in the overall interest of the administration of justice in the State of H.P. He thanked all present on the occasion, for such a warm welcome and said that their words will give him the strength to discharge the onerous responsibilities as the Chief Justice of this august High Court.
Justice Sabina welcomed Justice Mohammad Rafiq on assumption of charge of the Chief Justice saying that Justice Rafiq is very considerate towards all the sections of the society and his concern for the marginalized and under privileged is well recognized facet of his personality. She said that Justice Rafiq has always taken a keen interest in developing judicial infrastructure and is also very concerned about the well being of judicial fraternity. She shared that she has worked with Justice Rafiq earlier as they were colleagues in Rajasthan High Court. She further said that the ways of nature are beyond the realm of any human being and the classic example of this is that in the recent past, she attended the farewell of Justice Mohammad Rafiq at Jodhpur, on his appointment as Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court and now she is welcoming him in Shimla city.
The Advocate General Shri Ashok Sharma, the Chairman of the Bar Council of H.P. Sh. Ajay Kochhar, President of H.P. High Court Bar Association Sh. Lovneesh Kanwar, and Addl. Solicitor General of India Sh. Balram Sharma also spoke on the occasion and extended warm welcome to the new Chief Justice.
Judges of the H.P. High Court, Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan, Justice Sureshwar Thakur, Justice Vivek Singh Thakur, Justice Ajay Mohan Goel, Justice Sandeep Sharma, Justice Chander Bhusan Barowalia, Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua and Justice Satyen Vaidya also attended the Full Court Address.
Hon’ble Mr.Justice Deepak Gupta, Former Judge of Supreme Court of India, Justice P.S. Rana, Chairperson, H.P. State Human Rights Commission and former judges of High Court of Himachal Pradesh, Justice D.P. Sood, Justice A.K. Goel and Justice V.K. Sharma were also present on the occasion. Other Registrars of the H.P. High Court, Officers and officials of the Registry were also present on the occasion.
Brief History of Hon’ble Mr.Justice Mohammad Rafiq, Chief Justice, High Court of H.P.
Justice Mohammad Rafiq was born on 25th May, 1960 at Sujangarh in Churu district of Rajasthan. He joined the Bar and practised as Advocate after enrolment with the Bar Council of Rajasthan on 8th July, 1984. He practised exclusively in Rajasthan High Court at Jaipur in almost all branches of law. He worked as Assistant Government Advocate for the State of Rajasthan from 15th July, 1986 to 21st December, 1987 and Deputy Government Advocate from 22nd December, 1987 to 29th June, 1990. He appeared before the High Court as panel advocate for various Departments of the State Government for five years i.e. from 1993 to 1998, represented the Union of India as Standing Counsel from 1992 to 2001 and also represented the Indian Railways, Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board, Rajasthan Board of Muslim Wakfs, Jaipur Development Authority, Rajasthan Housing Board and Jaipur Municipal Corporation before the Rajasthan High Court.
He was appointed as Additional Advocate General for the State of Rajasthan on 7th January, 1999 and worked as such till his elevation to the Bench He was appointed as Judge of the Rajasthan High Court on 15th May, 2006. He also worked as Acting Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court twice; from 7th April, 2019 to 4th May, 2019 and from 23rd September, 2019 to 5th October, 2019. He was also the Executive Chairman of the Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority and the Administrative Judge of the Rajasthan High Court prior to his elevation as the Chief Justice.
He was the Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya from 13th November, 2019 to 26th April, 2020. He was administered the oath of office of the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court on 27th April, 2020, on being transferred from the Meghalaya High Court.
He is Life Member of the Indian Law Institute and has also been member of its Governing Council. On administrative side of the Rajasthan High Court, apart from being member of various Committees, he chaired the Mediation and Arbitration Project Committee, the Steering Committee for Computerisation, the Rules Committee, the Arrears Committee, the Examination Committee, the Building Committee and the Library Committee. He was In-Charge of the Mediation Centre of the High Court at Jaipur for five years and with that, was also simultaneously the Chairman of the Rajasthan High Court Legal Services Committee for three years. He also worked as Company Court Judge as well as Designated Judge U/s 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. He presided the Commercial Appellate Division for over three years at Jaipur Bench of Rajasthan High Court.
Justice Mohammad Rafiq was administered the oath of office of the Chief Justice of High Court of Madhya Pradesh on 3rd January, 2021, on being transferred from the Orissa High Court. He
was administered the oath of office of the Chief Justice of High Court of Himachal Pradesh on 14th October, 2021, on being transferred from High Court of Madhya Pradesh.