Born on 11-01-1963, Justice Sandeep Mehta has been sworn in as the 36th Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court on 15-02-2023. The oath was administered by the then Governor of Assam, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi at Durbar Hall of Raj Bhawan in Gauhati.1
Justice Sandeep Mehta has been a Judge of Rajasthan High Court prior to being appointed as the Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court. He has now succeeded Justice Rashmin Manharbhai Chhaya, who retired on 11-01-2023, as the Chief Justice.2
Justice Mehta enrolled with the Bar in 1986, joined as the member of Bar Council of Rajasthan in 2003 and remained one till his elevation to the Bench in 2011. He has practiced in Trial Courts, High Courts as well as the Supreme Court.
Justice Mehta has also been the Vice-Chairman and Chairman of Bar Council of Rajasthan during 2004-05 and 2010 respectively. He has been Counsel for three Judicial Enquiry Commissions headed by retired as well as sitting Judges of the High Court. He was elevated as the Additional Judge of Rajasthan High Court in 2011.3
The Supreme Court Collegium in its resolution dated 07-02-2023 recommended the appointment of Justice Sandeep Mehta, as the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court and specified that, Rajasthan High Court is unrepresented among the Chief Justices of the High Courts. The Resolution also stated that previously, Justice K. Vinod Chandran was being appointed the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court, but was recommended as Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Patna through a separate resolution.4
Subsequently, the Ministry of Law & Justice, Government of India, notified the appointment of Justice Sandeep Mehta, as the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court on 12-02-2023.5
Justice Sandeep Mehta will be retiring on 10-01-2025.6
Notable Decisions by Justice Sandeep Mehta
Rajasthan HC | Is Juvenile Justice Act totally foreign to the concept of “right of hearing” given to the complainant/CICL in bail applications?
The Court held that “The apprehension expressed regarding the likelihood of the petitioner coming into contact with other offenders can be taken off by requiring his natural guardian to furnish a suitable undertaking. I am of the opinion that petitioner child is entitled to be enlarged on bail. Consequently, the instant revision is allowed.” [X v. State,]7
Rajasthan HC | Allegation of woman set ablaze in view of dowry demand dismissed; Prosecution theory of homicidal death sheer exaggeration
The Division Bench of Sandeep Mehta and Kumari Prabha Sharma, JJ., dismissed the allegations of dowry demand, cruelty against the father-in-law and husband of the deceased in view of the prosecution theory regarding homicidal death being nothing short of sheer exaggeration. [Gopal v. State of Rajasthan]8
Characterising it as ‘sketchy’ and ‘non-speaking’, Rajasthan High Court sets aside the order of the Joint Commissioner, GST
The division bench of Sandeep Mehta and Kuldeep Mathur, JJ., set aside the order of the Joint Commissioner, State Goods and Services Tax (‘GST’) for delayed payment of tax due to violation of mandatory requirement of Section 75(6) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (‘CGST Act’). The Court concluded that the Officer did not consider the reply filed by the petitioner, while passing the order characterizing it as sketchy and non-speaking on the face of it. The Court while setting aside the order, asserted that it suffered from non-application of mind and was in violation of mandatory requirement of section 75 (6) of the CGST Act. [Hindustan Construction Company Ltd. v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Raj 2478]
Rajasthan HC | Burden on the defence to prove the plea of insanity is only to the extent of establishing the same by preponderance of probabilities, need not be proved beyond all manner of doubt
The Division Bench of Sandeep Mehta and Sameer Jain, JJ., allowed the appeal and quashed and set aside the judgment of conviction and sentence in a case of dowry death. The Court held that “we are persuaded to accept the plea of insanity advanced on behalf of the appellant to overturn his conviction as recorded by the trial court by the impugned Judgment.” [Mohan Lal v. State, 2022 SCC OnLine Raj 185]
Rajasthan HC | Court safeguards petitioner and family against communal outrage with appropriate measures
The Division Bench of Sandeep Mehta and Abhay Chaturvedi, JJ., allowed a Habeas Corpus Petition in favour of the petitioner allowing him to stay with his wife and directed the authorities to provide her with adequate protection. [Dinesh Suthar v. State of Rajasthan, 2019 SCC OnLine Raj 1229]
1. Swearing in ceremony of Justice Sandeep Mehta, Gauhati High Court.
2. Supreme Court Collegium Resolution for Appointment of Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court.
3. Justice Sandeep Mehta, Rajasthan State Judicial Academy.
4. Supreme Court Collegium Resolution for Appointment of Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court.
5. Ministry of Law & Justice, Government of India on appointment of Justice Sandeep Mehta as Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court.
6. Supreme Court Collegium Resolution for Appointment of Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court.
7. S.B. Criminal Revision Petition No. 494 of 2021.
8. DB Criminal Appeal No. 799 of 2014.