Born on 12-03-1963 in Punjab, Justice Augustine George Masih took oath as Judge of the Supreme Court of India. Dr. DY Chandrachud, CJI, administered oath to Justice Augustine George Masih on 9-11-2023.
Justice Augustine completed most of his education from Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh before kick starting his career in the legal profession by getting enrolled with the Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana Bar Council in 1987. Given below are the details of Justice Augustine’s schooling, career as an advocate and then a Judge, followed by important judgments while serving as the Judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court and Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court.
Education Details of Justice Augustine George Masih
Justice Augustine completed his schooling from St. Mary’s Convent School, Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh) and Saifuddin Tahir High School, Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh). He completed his graduation in Science (Hons) followed by LL. B (Hons) from Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh.1
Justice Augustine got enrolled as an Advocate with the Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana on 06-06-1987. Justice Augustine holds practical experience in Constitutional Law, Service Law, Labour Law, Civil Law, etc. on both Original and Appellate sides. He has appeared as an advocate before the Supreme Court, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Delhi High Court, Himachal Pradesh High Court, and various other Courts and Tribunals.2
Justice Augustine has also held the posts of Assistant Advocate General, Deputy Advocate General, Additional Advocate General in the office of Advocate General, Punjab before being appointed as the Additional Judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court on 10-07-2008, followed by Permanent Judgeship on 14-01-2011.3
Justice Augustine George Masih served as Judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court before being elevated to the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court Collegium recommended Justice Augustine George Masih on 6-11-2023, and he took oath as the Judge of the Supreme Court of India on 9-11-2023.4
Notable Decisions by Justice Augustine George Masih
Willful Concealment of FIR by particularly by Police Constable recruitee leads Rajasthan HC to uphold non-interference against discharge from service
In a case involving willful concealment of registration of FIR by a person selected for the post of Constable followed by release from service, the Bench regarded such behavior of the appellant to have a clear bearing on the character, conduct and antecedents of the employee, particularly seeking appointment on the post of a Police Constable.
[Ranjeet Bishnoi v. State of Rajasthan, DB Special Appeal No. 613 of 2023, decided on 11-10-2023]
Dependents having not entitled to compassionate appointment after receiving compensation as per RSRTC Regulations 2010: Rajasthan High Court
In a challenge against Single Judge’s decision denying benefit of compassionate appointment, the Division Bench of Augustine George Masih, CJ and Sameer Jain, J. upheld the said decision clarifying that since application was made in 2014, the 1996 Rules were not applicable and that Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation Compassionate Appointment Regulations, 2010 applied restricting compassionate appointment while the dependents had received compensation.
[Bhudev Singh v. RSRTC, DB Special Appeal No. 582 of 2023, decided on 24-08-2023]
Punjab and Haryana High Court grants interim bail to Times Now Reporter Bhawana Kishore
In a matter seeking quashing of First Information Report (‘FIR’) under Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (‘CrPC’) against Times Now’s Bhawana Kishore and others, and grant of bail under Section 439 CrPC, Augustine George Masih, J. granted interim bail to Bhawana Kishore and directed authorities to ensure information to the complainant regarding pendency of the instant case. Read More
[Bhawana Gupta v. State of Punjab, 2023 SCC OnLine P&H 430]
Punjab and Haryana High Court refuses interim relief in favour of ‘Blenders Pride’ trade mark against ‘Royal Challenger American Pride’
In an appeal against order dated 17-1-2022 dismissing application under Order 39 Rule 1 and 2 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 against infringement of trademark ‘Blenders Pride’ by using, manufacturing and selling goods under alleged trademark ‘Royal Challenge American Pride’, the Bench of Augustine George Masih and Alok Jain*, JJ. refused to grant any interim relief to the appellant company, since they could not prove any irreparable loss or injury and how the balance of convenience lies in their favour.
[Pernod Ricard India (P) Ltd. v. United Spirits Ltd., 2023 SCC OnLine P&H 477]
P&H HC approves the refund amount given to the petitioner upon surrendering the plot allotted to him
In a petition seeking writ of mandamus directing the respondents to refund the entire amount of Rs. 19,19,700/- with interest at the rate of 12% per annum from the date of payment till realization as there has been forfeiture of Rs. 11,38,163/- out of the total amount and a refund of Rs. 7,81,537/- has been made to the petitioner on surrender of the plot which was allotted to him, the division Bench of Augustine George Masih and Vikram Aggarwal, JJ. held that the refund having been made as per the terms and conditions of the allotment letter cannot be faulted with.
[Bhim Singh v. State of Haryana, 2023 SCC OnLine P&H 84]
P&H HC directs Chandigarh Housing Board to consider the petitioner’s representation vis-à-vis issuing an acceptance-cum-demand letter qua the allotment of 3BHK flat
In a petition seeking issuance of a writ of mandamus directing the Chandigarh Housing Board to issue an acceptance-cum-demand letter qua the allotment of 3BHK flat in the oustees category as per the Scheme dated 30-01-2017 and Rules under the Chandigarh Allotment of Dwelling Units to the Oustees of Chandigarh Scheme, 1996, the division Bench of Augustine George Masih and Harpreet Singh Brar, JJ. Directed the authorities to consider the petitioner’s representation regarding the instant matter rather than deciding the matter on merits.
[Paramjit Singh v. State (UT, Chandigarh), 2023 SCC OnLine P&H 416]
P&H HC | Date of eligibility is synonymous to the date of appointment for a particular post
In a petition challenging the order upholding appointment of the respondent as the Lambardar of Village Basma, Augustine George Masih, J. disposed of the present petition on grounds of it being infructuous but clarified that in the light of the eligibility to be seen being the date of appointment on the post of Lambardar, the appointment of Jagtar Singh could not be said to be illegal as, on the said date, he was eligible for appointment to the post of Lambardar. Read More
[Satnam Singh v. Financial Commissioner, Punjab, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 2260]
P&H HC| Presumption attached with registered Will with regard to its genuineness cannot be questioned before revenue authorities
Petitioner had approached the Court before a Bench of Augustine George Masih, J., challenging order passed by the Financial Commissioner, Haryana, whereby the Commissioner had proceeded to set aside the mutation sanctioned in favour of petitioner and Respondent 7 as per their natural succession. Further ordered that the mutation be executed as per the registered Will in favour of Respondents 5 and 6 as the registered Wills were in favour of them. Read More
[Bhagwan Dass v. State of Haryana, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 62]
P&H HC | Money decree set aside in absence of evidence to be established actual loss occurred to the plaintiff
An appeal was made against the judgment and decree passed by the Additional District Judge whereby the suit filed by the appellant-plaintiff for recovery of the amount from the respondent-defendant had been set aside by allowing the appeal and dismissing the suit of the appellant-plaintiff. Augustine George Masih, J. upheld the decision of the lower court as there was no evidence on record to prove the contentions made by the appellant. Read More
[Punjab State Warehousing Corporation Limited v. Paramjit Singh, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 1229]
Reinstatement of a workman in service with 50% back wages: P&H HC remands matter back to the single Judge
In a civil writ petition challenging an award passed by Labour Court, Amritsar, by which reinstating the respondent-workman in service with 50% back wages, the division bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and Augustine George Masih, J. remanded the matter back to the single judge to determine whether it is an “industry” and the respondent “workman” falls within the meaning of the said expression as defined in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
[Diocese of Amritsar of Church of North India v. Rashid Masih, 2011 SCC OnLine P&H 2731]