Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: Justice Mohammad Rafiq took oath as the 31st Chief Justice of Orissa High Court on Monday. He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Ganeshi Lal at the Lok Seva Bhawan in Bhubaneswar.

Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy, Director General of Police Abhay, and prominent leaders of ruling and Opposition parties of the State were also present during the oath-taking ceremony of Justice Rafiq, who arrived in Bhubaneswar in a special flight on Sunday to attend the function.

During the ceremony, dignitaries followed social distancing guidelines rolled out by the government in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

After the retirement of Justice K S Jhaveri on January 5, Justice Sanju Panda was made in-charge as the Acting Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court. Worth mentioning, there are currently 14 judges in the Orissa High Court against the sanctioned strength of 27 judges.


Earlier on Thursday, the Union Ministry of Law and Justice issued a notification regarding the transfer of Justice Rafiq after getting the consent from the President on the recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium.

Justice Rafiq was discharging duties as Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court when he was recommended for the post of Chief Justice at Orissa High Court.

He completed his B.Com in 1980, LL.B in 1984, and M.Com in 1986 from the University of Rajasthan. Justice Rafiq joined the Bar and started practicing as an Advocate in 1984. He also worked as the Assistant Government Advocate for the State of Rajasthan and was later elevated to the post of Deputy Government Advocate. He also represented the Union of India as Standing Counsel before the Rajasthan High Court.

He was appointed Additional Advocate General for the State of Rajasthan on January 7, 1999 from where he was appointed as Justice at the Rajasthan High Court in 2008.

Later, Rafiq was made the Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court on November 13 last year.