Early Life and Education
A third-generation lawyer after his grandfather Late V.K. Sanghi, Advocate and father Late G.L. Sanghi, Senior Advocate; Justice Vipin Sanghi was born on 27-10-1961 at Nagpur. Justice Sanghi passed out from Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, New Delhi, in 1980 and graduated in B.Sc. Mathematics (Hons.) from Delhi University, in 1983 and thereafter obtained the LL.B. Degree from the Law Faculty, Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi, in the year 19861.
Career as an Advocate2
Justice Vipin Sanghi enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi as an Advocate in the very year he obtained his degree in Law i.e., in 1986. Post enrolment, Justice Sanghi initially worked in the office of Mukul Rohatgi, Senior Advocate.
As an advocate, Justice Sanghi chiefly practiced on the Civil and the Constitutional side in the Supreme Court of India and High Court of Delhi.
Making progress in his legal career in leaps and bounds, Justice Sanghi was soon appointed as a Central Government Panel Advocate and functioned as such during 1990-91. He was also appointed as Central Government Panel Lawyer in the Supreme Court of India and was the Counsel for the M.C. Jain Commission of Enquiry. Finally, in December 2005, Justice Sanghi was designated as Senior Advocate by the Delhi High Court.
20 years of exceptional legal practice ensured that Justice Sanghi was appointed as Additional Judge of the High Court of Delhi with effect from 29-05-2006 and confirmed as a Permanent Judge on 11-02-2008. Justice Sanghi was also appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of Delhi High Court w.e.f. 13.03.2022.
The Collegium recommended the elevation of Justice Vipin Sanghi as Chief Justice of Uttaranchal High Court3, and the same was confirmed by the Law Ministry and Justice Sanghi was appointed as the Chief Justice, High Court of Uttaranchal and assumed charge on 28.06.2022.4
Notable Judgments by Justice Vipin Sanghi
Uttaranchal High Court
While considering the question that whether an application for anticipatory bail is maintainable after charge sheet has been filed in the Court; the Full Bench of the Court comprising of Vipin Sanghi, CJ.,** and Manoj Kumar Tiwari* and Ravindra Maithani, JJ.***, in Saubhagya Bhagat v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 SCC OnLine Utt 917, with a ratio of 2:1 held that an application seeking anticipatory bail would be maintainable even after the filing of the charge-sheet in the court. Expressing his agreement with the opinion rendered by Justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari, Vipin Sanghi, CJ., stated that the legislation has not imposed any restriction as regards the stage upto which an application for anticipatory bail can be entertained. “That being the position, an interpretation of Section 438 CrPC which curtails the remedy available to an accused – to preserve his right to life and personal liberty, should be eschewed”.
The Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi, C.J.*, and Rakesh Thapliyal, J., in Gauri Maulekhi v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 SCC OnLine Utt 888, directed the State to ensure that only registered Equines and handlers would be allowed on the Yatra routes of Kedarnath, Yamunotri, Hemkund Sahib etc., and not others and the District Magistrate concerned should ensure that sufficient police force was deployed at the barrier to prevent unauthorized entry into the Yatra Route by unregistered handlers, along with their unregistered Equines. The Court opined that mere fining of the handlers or filing cases against them for inflicting cruelty to the animals, was not sufficient to rein in and discipline the erring handlers/owners of Equines, thus, the only effective way in which cruelty to the Equines could be curbed was by blacklisting such handlers/owners, who were found to be subjecting their Equines to cruelty and maltreatment.
While hearing a Public Interest Litigation petition titled Association For Protection of Civil Right v. State of Uttarakhand5, wherein directions were sought to the State to prevent outbreak of communal violence in Village Purola, Uttarkashi, the Division Bench comprising of Vipin Sanghi C.J. and Rakesh Thapliyal, J., directed the State to ensure that law and Order is maintained in the State. The Court observed that it is the paramount duty of the State to ensure that law, order and peace is maintained in all parts of the State, and that there is no loss of life or property of any person in the State. Therefore, the Court directed the respondent/ State to take whatever steps, as are necessary, to fulfil the constitutional obligation of the State to maintain peace. Further, the Court directed the State to ensure that there is proper assessment of potential violence of any kind before it permits the holding of any public meeting or congregation of people in the State.
The Division bench of Vipin Sanghi, C.J., and R.C. Khulbe, J., in Krishna Kunwar Singh Dewari v. Kripal Singh6, had held that merely because the communication sanctioning a post does not indicate the promotion rules, does not mean that there are no Rules framed or applicable for promotion, requiring minimum service in the feeder cadre. Further it was held that merely because the order sanctioning the posts did not indicate the promotion Rules, does not mean that there was no Rule framed or applicable for promotion.
Delhi High Court
The Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi, ACJ and Jasmeet Singh, J., in Delhi Sarkari Ration Dealers Sangh Delhi v. Commr. Food and Supplies GNCTD, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 1485, held that, the Delhi Government’s Mukhya Matri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana cannot be implemented and rolled out by the GNCTD since the LG expressed his difference of opinion. In the instant matter, the challenge was regarding the Doorstep Delivery of Ration Scheme evolved by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD). The above-said scheme sought to by-pass the existing Fair Price Shop owners/dealers in the matter of distribution of food grains and wheat flour at the doorstep of the beneficiaries under the Targeted Public Distribution System. In Court’s view, the Chief Minister was not correct in concluding that the approval of the Centre was neither mandated, nor necessary, under Section 12(2)(h) of the NFSA, or that the matter need not have been referred to the President under the proviso to Article 239AA (4), despite the expressed difference of opinion by the LG.
In a matter of dissolution of marriage, the Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi, ACJ and Jasmeet Singh, J., in Sunil Kumar Sharma v. Preeti Sharma, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 1263, expressed that husband and wife together can deal with any situation, if one gets weak or breaks, the whole crashes down. The Family Court in the present matter had granted divorce to the respondent under Section 13(1) (ia) of the HMA solely relying on the ground of “mental cruelty”. Remarking that “Husband and wife are two pillars of the family”, High Court held that, when one pillar gives up and puts all the burden on the other pillar, then it cannot be expected that one pillar will single-handedly hold the house together. Hence, Court upheld the observation of the Family Court on noting that the husband had put the entire burden on the wife to manage the house, her job, and look after the children and he failed to discharge his duties as a husband and especially as a father.
Noting that, Section 14 of the Hindu Marriage Act intends to discourage the couples from breaking the sacred bond of marriage in haste, the Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi, ACJ and Jasmeet Singh, J., in Rishu Aggarwal v. Mohit Goyal, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 1089, held that, a mandatory one year period granted under Section 14 of the Act, encourages couples to cool down, and give a rethink to preserve their marriage. Court held that denial of cohabitation in a marriage cannot be regarded as “exceptional hardship” or “exceptional depravity”, it could not call for waiver of a mandatory period of one year which is to be waived as a matter of exception, and not as a matter of rule. Additionally, the Court remarked that denial of a conjugal relationship, or non-consummation due to temperamental/behavioural differences can only be aground for divorce, under cruelty.
While addressing a matter surrounding the issue of cruelty by wife, the Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi, ACJ and Dinesh Kumar Sharma, J., in Jyoti Yadav v. Neeraj Yadav, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 795, expressed that, “It has repeatedly been held that accusations of unchastity or extra marital relationship is a grave assault on character, status, reputation as well as health of the spouse against whom such allegations were made.” Further, the Court expressed that, accusations of unchastity or extra marital relationship causes mental pain, agony suffering and tantamount to cruelty. The allegations of extra marital affairs in relationship are serious allegations, which have to be made with all seriousness. The tendency of making false allegations has to be deprecated by the Courts.
The Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh, JJ., Poonam Sethi v. Sanjay Sethi, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 69, expressed that, Kanya Daan is a solemn and pious obligation of a Hindu Father, from which he cannot renege. An unmarried daughter, even if employed and earning, cannot be assumed to have sufficient resources to meet her matrimonial expenses. “Simply stating that the daughters are major and earning an income, without adducing how, and how much, is a non sequitur”. High Court elaborated stating that for the last 11 odd years, the Appellant-wife had been providing for the children. Simply because she has done so and is presently also presumably doing so, cannot relieve the Respondent- husband from his obligations as a father.
The Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi and Sanjeev Narula, JJ., in Bhavya Nain v. High of Delhi7, decided a matter while reasoning out on why a person with Bipolar Disability should be granted reservation under the mental illness category for the appointment as Judicial Officer. In the present matter, the petitioner had been suffering from Bipolar Affective Disorder since 2010 and was in treatment for the same since 2010. In Court’s opinion, the petitioner successfully competed with other PwD candidates, and he was permanently disabled. Hence, he cannot be denied reservation on an assumed basis, as done by the respondent.
“Merely because they may need medication and treatment throughout their lives, or may suffer setbacks from time to time, cannot be a reason to deny them equal opportunity to assimilate in the society, make their contribution and have a life of dignity.” Further, the Court elaborated its above observation stating that, such person has a fully developed mind like any normal human being. They may suffer from a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that may grossly impair judgment, behaviour, capacity to recognize reality or ability to meet the ordinary demand of life, but with medication and treatment such manifestations can be kept at bay.
Deciding the issue of whether World Bank is a government agency or not, the Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh, JJ., in A2Z Infraservices Ltd. v. North Delhi Municipal Corporation8, held that World Bank or any of the other international bodies, which have proceeded to debar the petitioner, cannot be considered as a “Government Agency”. This is for the reason that none of the international bodies are bound by any directions issued by the Government of India. The Government of India does not exercise control, actual or pervasive, over affairs of the World Bank and that is why they have been held as not amenable to the writ jurisdiction of the High Court, as they are not considered State or other authority within the meaning of the said expressions under Articles 12 and 226 of the Constitution. Court observed that the Clauses 20(r) read with 55 in the tender were penal in nature as they purported to debar the bidder who does not make a disclosure about its debarment by a Government Agency.
A Division Bench comprising of Vipin Sanghi and I.S. Mehta, JJ., in Jagtar Singh Hawara v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2018 SCC OnLine Del 10158, dismissed writ of habeas corpus wherein the petitioner sought directions to the respondents to release him from, what he claimed, illegal detention at Tihar jail. The petitioner was a convict in the Sardar Beant Singh Murder case. The Court found no merit in the petition. The Court observed that no constitutional or statutory provision was brought to notice which mandates that as a life convict, the petitioner had a right to be imprisoned in a particular prison, in a particular state. No convict can claim that he should be placed in a prison situated at a place of his choice.
While hearing upon the present bail application, the bench of Vipin Sanghi, J., in Anil Kumar v. GNCT of Delhi, 2015 SCC OnLine Del 9633, discussed the legal issue of competence and jurisdiction of Anti-Corruption Board (ACB) of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) vis-à-vis Prevention of Corruption Act, with regard to the Delhi Police, and observed that, the applicant being a Delhi Police personnel serving the citizens of National Capital Territory of Delhi, therefore the functions of the Delhi Police personnel is substantially related to the affairs of the GNCTD. Thus, the Court was of the view that the ACB has the jurisdiction to entertain and act upon any complaint under the Prevention of Corruption Act against a Delhi Police personnel.
*Judge who authored the judgment
** Concurring opinion
*** Dissenting opinion
5. Writ Petition Public Interest Litigation No. 90 of 2023
6. Special Appeal No. 682 of 2018
7. WP (C) No. 5948 of 2019
8. WP (C) 11480 of 2021