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Chief justice sworn in

Ranchi, Sept. 17: Justice Muthusamy Karpagavinayagam was today sworn in as the chief justice of Jharkhand High Court.

Justice Karpagavinayagam, who has taken over the mantle of the fifth chief justice from Justice Nelavoy Dhinakar, took the oath of office at a ceremony in Raj Bhavan. He has been transferred from Madras High Court.

The swearing-in ceremony saw the presence of political hotshots from both the UPA and the NDA. Chief minister-designate Madhu Koda occupied the front row with the outgoing chief minister, Arjun Munda, in tow. JMM chief Shibu Soren and food processing minister Subodh Kant Sahay were the other dignitaries who graced the occasion.

Justice Karpagavinayagam arrived with his family and met the dignitaries personally before being sworn the oath of office by Governor Syed Sibtey Razi.

The post of chief justice of the high court has been lying vacant since June 10 after the retirement of Justice Nelavoy Dhinakar. In the absence of a chief justice, Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya had taken up the post of the acting chief justice before he was transferred to Madras High Court. Justice M.Y. Eqbal, the senior-most judge, had then taken up the role of the acting chief justice.

According to sources, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had signed the proposal and had left it on Justice Karpagavinayagam to assume office on as is where is basis. The notification of the judge’s appointment was received by the high court a week back.

Justice Karpagavinayagam will have a tenure of about two years. Two of his predecessors — Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice Dhinakar — had a very short tenure with Kabir being elevated to the Supreme Court and the latter retiring.

Born on May 16, 1946, Justice Karpagavinayagam was enrolled with the Madras High Court Bar in 1972 and began practice as a criminal lawyer. He was appointed a government advocate in 1977.

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