Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice

Born on 06-03-1964, in the vibrant city of Bilaspur, Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava’s journey unfolds as a testament to relentless pursuit and unwavering commitment to justice. His early years were marked by a dedication to education and a thirst for knowledge that would become the hallmark of his illustrious career.

Education formed the cornerstone of Justice Shrivastava’s illustrious career. He completed his schooling in Bilaspur, laying the foundation for his academic prowess. Pursuing his passion for law, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from CMD College, Bilaspur. However, it was his exceptional performance at K R Law College, Bilaspur, where he graduated with a gold medal in LL.B., that distinguished him as a scholar of exceptional merit. Throughout his academic tenure, Justice Shrivastava demonstrated a keen interest in legal academia, serving as a member of the Board of Studies and Academic Council at Guru Ghasidas University, Bilaspur. His commitment to the academic community underscored his belief in the importance of fostering legal education and nurturing the next generation of legal luminaries.1

Career Trajectory

Upon his enrollment with the Bar Council of Madhya Pradesh in Jabalpur on 05-10-1987, Justice Shrivastava embarked on a distinguished legal career that spanned several decades. He commenced his practice at the District Court in Raigarh, gradually ascending to argue before the High Court of Madhya Pradesh and subsequently the High Court of Chhattisgarh. Justice Shrivastava’s expertise and acumen earned him recognition as a legal stalwart, leading to his appointment as the Standing Counsel for various prestigious entities, including the Department of Income-tax, Municipal Council of Raipur, and Chhattisgarh State Electricity Organizations and Corporations.2 His proficiency in navigating complex legal issues and his unwavering commitment to justice solidified his reputation as a formidable legal advocate. In recognition of his exceptional contributions to the legal profession, Justice Shrivastava was designated as a Senior Advocate on 31-01-2005.3

Justice Shrivastava’s elevation to the esteemed position of Judge of the Chhattisgarh High Court on 10-12-2009,4 marked a significant milestone in his career, affirming his standing as a jurist of unparalleled distinction. He was entrusted with the responsibility of upholding justice in the Rajasthan High Court, where he took oath on 18-10-2021.5

Justice Shrivastava being the senior-most Judge of the Rajasthan High Court, was appointed as Acting Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court by the President of India, with effect from 02-08-2022, upon the retirement of Justice Shinde Sambhaji Shiwaji, Chief Justice, Rajasthan High Court.6 The pinnacle of Justice Shrivastava’s illustrious career arrived on 06-02-2024, as he assumed the esteemed position of Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court.7 This appointment not only recognizes his legal prowess but also underscores his unwavering dedication to the principles of justice and fairness.

Notable Judgments

In Mahendra Singh Jakhar v. State of Rajasthan, 2024 SCC OnLine Raj 448, a batch of petitions, where the issue arising for consideration is as to whether providing the age of superannuation for Ayurvedic Doctors vis-a-vis Allopathic Doctors is discriminatory to Article 14 of Constitution of India, a division bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, C.J. and Bhuwan Goyal, J., held that the doctors who have been superannuated on attaining the age of 60 years, but have not completed the age of 62 years, be reinstated in service forthwith and continue in service upto the age of 62 years.

In Mahaveer Jain v. ITO,8 an appeal against the reopening of the assessment for the assessment year 2019-20, a Division Bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, CJ., and Justice Munnuri Laxman, J., held that reopening of assessment under Section 148 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 based on the non-disclosure of heavy transactions in the Income Tax Return or Audit is not arbitrary.

“Non-disclosure of heavy transaction by the petitioner with Allbright Electricals Pvt. Ltd., in the ITR/Audit and the same having been made a basis to reopen assessment by issuing notice under Section 148, cannot be termed as arbitrary, whimsical or perverse, so as to warrant interference by this Court in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.”

In Asha Ram v. State of Rajasthan,9 a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner assailed the correctness and validity of order rejecting petitioner’s application for grant of first parole of 20 days by the District Parole Advisory Committee, a division bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava,* ACJ., and Rajendra Prakash Soni, J., dismissed the parole application and held that though the petitioner was though found eligible for parole, but his application was rejected due to (1) stating different reasons in two different applications and (2) in the event of grant of parole, it will affect law & order situation.

“…irrespective of whether such provisions is unconstitutional or not, the law as it stands today, bars consideration of an application of a prisoner, who is undergoing jail sentence in a jail of Rajasthan, having convicted by a Court of other State. Thus, there is clear prohibition under the law.”

In Shiv Charan Gupta v. Ashok Gahlot,10 a PIL, seeking to initiate a criminal contempt of court, filed under Article 215 of the Constitution , against the sitting Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, for his alleged statement related to “widespread corruption within the Judiciary”, a division bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, ACJ., and Ashutosh Kumar, J., sought response of the respondent with regard to the statement which are attributed to him in this petition based on the newspaper report.

In Narayan Singh v. State of Rajasthan,11 a PIL filed by the petitioners assailing the auction proceedings vide e-auction notice inviting application for issuing quarry licenses for mining activities, a division bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, ACJ., and Kuldeep Mathur, J., held that the present petition appears to be abuse of process of law as the petitioners neither impleaded the persons in whose favor quarry licenses have been issued, nor challenged the quarry licenses issued and imposed exemplary cost of Rs.50,000/- to be deposited in the registry of the High Court within a period of two months.

In Prahlad Sharma v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Raj 400, while exercising its civil writ jurisdiction in a matter related to murder of a lawyer in the State had which led to a widespread agitation and the petitioner had urged the Court to consider issuance of some guidelines till appropriate legislation was framed, a division bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, ACJ., and Anil Kumar Upman J., sought reply and suggestions from the Union Government, the State Government and Bar Council of India (BCI) in relation to the protection of advocates from violence, harassment, and threats.

In Suo Motu v. State of Rajasthan,12 a division bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, ACJ and Vijay Bishnoi, J., initiated a suo motu proceeding by taking the cognizance of recent strikes and abstaining from work by the members of bar on account of a murder of an advocate and held that “the call of strike and abstention from work by anyone including the office bearers of any of the Bar Association is not in accordance with the law and is in violation of the Supreme Court orders passed from time to time.”

In Ganga Kumari v. State of Rajasthan,13 a petition seeking issuance of directions in the matter of providing proper and effective reservation to the transgenders in terms of the mandate of the National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India, (2014) 5 SCC 438, a division bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Srivastava and Madan Gopal Vyas JJ., noted that the Supreme Court has directed the Central Government and State Government to take necessary steps to treat transgenders as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservations in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments and directed the State to complete the exercise expeditiously and we grant maximum period of four months to do the needful. The Court held that “as far as present selection process is concerned, we would only say that presently the petitioner would be allowed to participate in the process of selection and her candidature shall not be rejected only on the ground that she is third gender.”

In Sawai Singh Sodha v. State of Rajasthan, 2022 SCC OnLine Raj 525, a writ petition was filed by the petitioners making certain allegations that works under MGNREGA have not been done as per the claim of the authorities and without proper work either having been completed or fully done, various bills have been raised and public fund has been siphoned, a Division Bench of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava ACJ., and Madan Gopal Vyas J., disposed of the petition and rejected the request to file rejoinder, and kept it open to file a properly constituted petition. The Court observed that after going through the petition, we find that though there are allegations made in the petition, there is no prima facie material along with the petition to sustain the allegations of the petitioners.

“If there are no specific allegations contained in the petition, it cannot be allowed to be supplied by way of rejoinder as that is not the scope of rejoinder.”

In Smile for All Society v. Elementary Education Rajasthan, 2021 SCC OnLine Raj 1592, a PIL challenging the policy of the State insofar as direction has been issued by the State Authorities that admission to pre-school classes in educational Session 2020- 21 shall not be governed by the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, a Division bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava and Farjand Ali, JJ., granted interim relief against State’s directions to prohibit admission to pre-school classes under RTE Act. The Court thus held “the direction of the State shall not come in the way of performance of statutory obligation by the schools specified in Sub-clauses (iii) and (iv) of Clause (n) of Section 2 of the RTE Act and Proviso as referred to above shall oblige them to make admission under the RTE Act. Such admission, however, would be provisional in nature and to be governed by the final order that may be passed by this Court in the writ petitions”

In Pavas Sharma v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2021 SCC OnLine Chh 288, a single-judge bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava,* J., granted anticipatory bail and set aside the impugned rejection order on the ground of patent illegality. The Court thus that “Even though, offence under the Act of 1989 is registered, where application for grant of anticipatory bail is filed, the Court is required to apply its mind to the relevant provisions of law and considerations as specified by the Supreme Court in the case of Prathvi Raj Chouhan(supra) and if material on record leads to satisfaction that the complaint does not make out a prima facie case, for applicability of the provisions of the Act of 1989, the bar created under Section 18 of the Act of 1989 shall not apply and in appropriate cases of exceptional nature, benefit of anticipatory bail could be admitted to the applicant”.

In Dewesh Khandelwal v. Neha Khandelwal, 2020 SCC OnLine Chh 1553, an appeal against the order passed by the Family Court dismissing the appellant’s application for grant of decree of divorce, a division bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava* and Vimla Singh Kapoor, JJ., held that in order to establish desertion, it has to be proved that while one party was willing, the other party without reasonable cause has left the company of the other spouse. In the present case, as the entire case of the appellant-husband itself rest on the pleading that the parties are residing separately pursuant to agreement dated 01-04-2007, no case for grant of decree of divorce is made out.

In Rajesh Soni v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2020 SCC OnLine Chh 1601, an appeal against the judgment of conviction and order of sentence passed by Sessions Judge, where the appellant was convicted under Section 302 IPC and sentenced life imprisonment, a division bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava* and Vimla Singh Kapoor, JJ., held that though the prosecution case is based only on circumstantial evidence, the chain of circumstances proved by the prosecution formed complete chain so as to arrive at an inference that in all probability it is the accused and the accused alone who must have killed the deceased. Therefore, there are no good grounds to interfere with the impugned judgment of conviction and order of sentence.

In High Court Bar Association v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2015 SCC OnLine Chh 809, a batch of writ petition and writ appeals challenging the constitutional validity of an explanation under Section 2 of the Chhattisgarh High Court (Appeal to Division Bench) Act, 2006, added by the Chhattisgarh High Court (Appeal to Division Bench) Act, 2013 (Amendment Act 2 of 2014), a 3-judges bench comprising of Navin Sinha, C.J. and Manindra Mohan Shrivastava* and Goutam Bhaduri, JJ., applied the principles of legislative interpretation and held that the Explanation to Section 2 inserted by the Amendment Act 2 of 2014 is bad.

“…the Explanation raises an absolute presumption with regard to the nature of the power exercised irrespective of the actual nature of the power that may have been exercised. It would be extremely hazardous to raise a presumption without first establishing the necessary facts on basis of which the presumption is to be drawn.”

In Ghasiram Kosariya v. State of M.P., 2010 SCC OnLine Chh 234, a single-judge bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, J., opined that almost 19 years have elapsed since the date of initiation of enquiry, therefore, it would not be proper at this stage to remand the matter for de novo enquiry as the petitioner would be nearing his age of retirement, moreover, when the petitioner is aged approximately 53 years when this petition is being now decided. The Court held that in the interest of justice, it would be proper if the matter is finally set at rest without any further enquiry and directed that the petitioner to be reinstated in service.

While deciding an application for bail by the juvenile in Daya Sagar Yadav v. State of Chhattisgarh, 2010 SCC OnLine Chh 232, a single-judge bench comprising of Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, J., held that no material or circumstance placed on record to conclude that release of the applicant would either bring him in association with a known criminal or expose him to psychological danger or would otherwise defeat the ends of justice and granted the bail to the applicant.

“…ordinarily bail is required to be granted to a juvenile in view of the provisions contained in section 12 of the Act. It is only when the Court finds that the grounds therein are made out that the Court shall reject the application.”

* Judge who has penned the Judgement.

1. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, Rajasthan High Court.

2. Supra.

3. Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, CDJ Law Journal.

4. Former Judges, High Court of Chhattisgarh.

5. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, Rajasthan High Court.

6. Senior-most judge Justice Manindra Mohan Shrivastava, appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court, SCC Times.

7. Centre appoints Chief Justices of 6 High Courts and Acting Chief Justice for Punjab and Haryana High Court, SCC Times.

8. D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 10306/2023, order dated 13-02-2024.

9. D.B. Criminal Parole Writ Petition No. 1454/2023, order dated 25-01-2024.

10. D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 13788/2023, order dated 02-09-2023.

11. D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 3744/2022, order dated 21-03-2023.

12. D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 3188/2023, order dated 28-02-2023.

13. D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 10672/2021, order dated 14-02-2022.

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