Shillong, Sept. 20: New Meghalaya High Court Chief Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant, who took oath amid a 12-hour shutdown, today asserted that as long as “things are peaceful, there is no problem”.
Justice Pant, 61, was administered the oath of office by governor Krishan Kant Paul in the Durbar Hall of Raj Bhavan this morning.
Before being appointed as the second Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, Justice Pant was a judge at Uttarakhand High Court.
Meghalaya High Court was created in March this year and Justice T. Meena Kumari became its first Chief Justice.
However, she retired in August and till yesterday, senior-most judge T. Nandakumar Singh was the acting Chief Justice.
Those present at today’s oath-taking ceremony included chief minister Mukul Sangma, deputy chief ministers Rowell Lyngdoh and Roytre C. Laloo, home minister Roshan Warjri, social welfare minister Deborah C. Marak, urban affairs minister M. Ampareen Lyngdoh, Speaker Abu Taher Mondal and a host of other dignitaries.
However, the swearing-in of Justice Pant took place on a day when the entire hill state was shut down for 12 hours as part of the agitation launched by pro inner-line permit groups to demand the implementation of the permit system in Meghalaya.
On the statewide shutdown, Chief Justice Pant said, “So long as the things are peaceful, somebody is expressing his resentment peacefully, there is no problem. But nobody should break the law and nobody should resort to violence.”
Stating that he is here to serve the people of the state, he added, “My duty is to try to understand the problems of the people particularly that of the litigants, lawyers and other stakeholders, and to do the needful to redress their grievances.
“I will try to the best of my ability. Here pendency in the judicial side is said to be not much, but whatever is the pendency, it is my duty to make every endeavour to decide the cases at the earliest, and also to make others do the same.”