justice rajesh bindal

“Law is not static; it goes with the society. You should keep your eyes and ears open to see what is happening in the society.”1

-Justice Rajesh Bindal

Elevated to the Supreme Court in 2023, Justice Rajesh Bindal has an expansive wealth of experience and wisdom that he gained during a long tenure as an advocate and equally lengthy tenure as Judge and later Chief Justice of the High Courts of Punjab and Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, Calcutta, Allahabad.

Early Life, Education and Advocacy

Born on 16-04-1961, at Ambala City in Haryana, Justice Rajesh Bindal did his LL. B from Kurukshetra University in 1985 and joined the legal profession in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in September 19852.

During his tenure as an advocate, Justice Bindal represented the Income-tax Department, Haryana region before the High Court; Chandigarh Administration before Central Administrative Tribunal for more than a decade till 2004 and Punjab & Haryana regions of Employees Provident Fund Organization before the High Court and Central Administrative Tribunal from 1992 till his elevation as Judge. Furthermore, he represented the State of Haryana, in settlement of the dispute concerning Satluj Yamuna Water with State of Punjab before Eradi Tribunal and the Supreme Court3.

Judgeship of the High Courts4

Justice Bindal was elevated as a Judge of High Court of Punjab & Haryana on 22-03-2006. Subsequently in 2018 he was transferred to the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and, in 2020 was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of the Common High Court for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Did You Know? During his tenure as a Judge in Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Bindal disposed of around 80,000 cases!

Further on Justice Bindal was transferred to the High Court at Calcutta and was later sworn in as the Chief Justice of the High Court at Calcutta with effect from 29-04-2021. On 11-10-2021, Justice Bindal took oath as the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Rajesh Bindal’s elevation was recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium on 31-01-2023. The recommendation was approved by the President of India and with a notification dated 10-02-2023, the Ministry of Law and Justice, notified the appointment of Justice Bindal to the Supreme Court. Justice Rajesh Bindal took oath as a Supreme Court Judge on 13-02-2023.

Chairmanship of various Committees5

  • Justice Bindal was the Chairman of the Committee constituted pursuant to Resolution adopted in the Chief Justices’ Conference, 2016, for framing Draft Rules for Electronic Evidence.

  • Justice Bindal was the Chairman of a multi-member Committee constituted by Ministry of Women and Child Development to study Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill, 2016, he submitted report accompanied by the recommendations and draft of the Protection of Children (Inter-Country Removal and Retention) Bill, 2018 to the Ministry in April 2018.

  • Justice Bindal also headed various Committees including Computer Committee, Arrears Committee; Finance Committee, Building and Infrastructure Committee, Information Technology Committee, State Court Management Systems Committee in the High Court and also Chairman of J&K State Legal Service Authority.

  • He was also the Chairman of the Committee constituted for conducting assessment for optimal use of technology by NALSA and the State Legal Services Authorities including use of Artificial Intelligence.

  • He was also Member of the Committee constituted to go into the existing framework of Lok Adalats and Mediation and to suggest ways for enhancing operational efficiency and plugging gaps, if any, or better application of these ADR mechanisms for weaker sections of the society.

Notable Judgements by Justice Rajesh Bindal

Supreme Court of India

Supreme Court’s verdict on Tenants right to pre-emption in the ‘urban immovable property’ under Punjab Pre-Emption Act

In Jagmohan v. Badri Nath, (2024) 3 SCC 588, the division bench of C.T. Ravikumar and Rajesh Bindal, JJ. while upholding tenants’ pre-emption rights in the ‘urban immovable property’ under the Punjab Pre-emption Act, 1913 (‘1913, Act’) said that ‘land’ and ‘immovable property’ are two different terms. The immovable property is more than the land on which certain construction has been made. Read more

‘No rape on false promise to marry’; Supreme Court quashes rape case by married woman

In an appeal titled XXXX v. State of M.P., (2024) 3 SCC 496, challenging order passed by Madhya Pradesh High Court on 1-08-2022 dismissing the petition under Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (‘CrPC’) for quashment of First Information Report (‘FIR’), the Division Bench of CT Ravikumar and Rajesh Bindal, JJ. quashed the FIR and further criminal proceedings while noting the fact of absence of any false promise to marry, and the consent of complainant, her daughter and even parents who were living in the same house. Read more

SC upholds Karnataka HC order quashing proceedings against man accused of rape on false promise to marry due to inconsistent Prosecutrix testimonies

In a criminal appeal titled X v. A, 2024 SCC OnLine SC 316, filed against the order passed by the Karnataka High Court, wherein the Court allowed the petition filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (‘CrPC’) preferred by the accused persons and quashed the entire proceedings pending against them before the Additional District and Sessions Judge, the three-judge bench of BR Gavai*, Rajesh Bindal and Sandeep Mehta, JJ. while upholding the impugned order, said that there are no sufficient grounds for proceeding against the accused, and no error has been committed by the High Court by holding that permitting further proceedings to continue would be an abuse of process of law and result in miscarriage of justice. Read more

‘Child is not a Chattel’: Supreme Court sets aside Orissa HC judgment granting father custody of child living with aunt for 14 years

In an appeal filed against the judgment of the Orissa High Court, wherein the Court directed the Registrar of the Court to recover the child from the custody of the sister of the child, particularly from her aunt and uncle and to hand over to the father, the division bench of C.T. Ravikumar and Rajesh Bindal, JJ., in Shazia Aman Khan v. State of Orissa, 2024 SCC OnLine SC 225 while setting aside the impugned Judgment, said that the child cannot be treated as a chattel at the age of 14 years to hand over her custody to the father, where she has not lived ever since her birth. Stability of the child is also of paramount consideration. Read more

Supreme Court’s verdict on master and servant relationship following suspension

In U.P. Singh v. Punjab National Bank, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1681 filed by the workman/ appellant against the order passed by the Division Bench of Delhi High Court, wherein the Court upheld the Single Judge order setting aside the Tribunal’s award directing Punjab National Bank (‘PNB’) to reinstate the workman/ appellant with full back wages along with interest and consequential benefits, the division bench of Hima Kohli and Rajesh Bindal, JJ. while upholding the impugned order, said that as per Clause XVI in the Bipartite Agreement the workman could have been treated to have been voluntarily retired immediately upon expiry of 90 days from 28-09-1983 as he had failed to join duty. Despite this, the Bank was magnanimous enough to have issued a final notice to the workman granting him 30 days’ time to report for duty. Read more

Mere acquittal in criminal case will not automatically qualify candidate for appointment to a post in law enforcement agency

In State of M.P. v. Bhupendra Yadav, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1181, filed by the State against the judgment of Madhya Pradesh High Court, wherein the Court set aside the order passed by the Superintendent of Police (‘SP’) communicating to the respondent that he was found to be unfit to be recruited as a constable, after he disclosed his involvement in a criminal case; and relegated the matter back to the competent authority for passing a fresh order, the division bench of Hima Kohli* and Rajesh Bindal, JJ. while upholding the judgment dated 17-11-2017, passed by the Single Judge, quashed the impugned judgment passed by the Division Bench of the High Court, and said that even though the respondent had truthfully declared that he was involved in a criminal case, as per the judgement, this was not a case of clean acquittal, as it was based on benefit of doubt. Therefore, it was held that the said decision taken by the State Government is not tainted by any malafides or arbitrariness for the High Court to have interfered therewith. Read more

Investigating Agencies not obliged to submit translation of charge sheet in language of the Court

In CBI v. Narottam Dhakad, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1069 filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (‘CBI’) against the High Court order allowing translation of two charge sheets in VYAPAM Scam case, the Division Bench of Abhay S. Oka* and Rajesh Bindal, JJ. held that there was no specific provision for translation of charge sheet in the language of the Court and allowed the instant appeals. The instant matter roams around State government’s power to determine the language of each Court within such State, other than the High Court, for the purposes of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, such Courts including Sessions Courts, Judicial Magistrates of First Class, Metropolitan Magistrates, Judicial Magistrates of Second Class and Executive Magistrates. Read more

Woman’s unnatural death in matrimonial home, within 7 years of marriage, not sufficient to convict husband/in-laws for dowry death

In Charan Singh v. State of Uttarakhand, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 454, dating back to 1995, wherein a woman died an unnatural death in her matrimonial home, the bench of Abhay S Oka and Rajesh Bindal*, JJ has held that mere death of the deceased being unnatural in the matrimonial home within seven years of marriage will not be sufficient to convict the accused under Section 304-B and 498-A IPC if the cruelty or harassment has not been proved to be soon before the death. Read more

Constitutional Courts can exercise power of imposing a modified or fixed-term sentence even where capital punishment is not imposed or proposed

In an appeal, the division bench of Abhay S. Oka* and Rajesh Bindal, JJ., in Shiva Kumar v. State of Karnataka, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 345, allowed the appeal against order of life sentence to the accused by the Trial Court for offence punishable under S. 302 of Penal Code, 1860 and modified the sentence to a fixed-term period of 30 years. The appeal before the Court was limited to the modification of the awarded sentence by the Trial Court for the offence punishable under S. 302, Penal Code, 1860. Read more

Labour Disputes| Workmen must mention their permanent address, even if they are represented by Labour Unions

In Creative Garments Ltd. v. Kashiram Verma, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 277, after noticing that workmen do not mention their permanent address in cases where labour disputes are filed through Unions, the Bench of Abhay S. Oka and Rajesh Bindal*, JJ., directed the authorities to take some corrective steps. It was directed that parties shall be required to furnish their permanent address(es), even if the representative of the workman is appearing, he shall furnish permanent address of the workman as well. Merely mentioning through Labour Union or authorised representatives, who are sometimes union leaders or legal practitioners, will not be sufficient. Service of notice of workman will have to be effected on the permanent address of the workman. Read more

Allegation of demand of gratification and acceptance made by a public servant must be established beyond a reasonable doubt

In Neeraj Dutta v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2023 SCC OnLine SC 280, where an appeal was filed against order of the Delhi High Court upholding the order of conviction for illegal gratification under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the Division Bench of Abhay S. Oka* and Rajesh Bindal reiterated that in the absence of direct evidence, reliance can be placed on circumstantial evidence to prove demand of illegal gratification. Read more

High Courts

Allahabad High Court | Manual Scavenging | No protective gears provided to the sanitation workers; summons issued to DM and Nagar Ayukt

The Division Bench of Rajesh Bindal, CJ. and J.J. Munir, J., in In Re Ensuring the Security of Life & Safety of Health of the Workmen & Employees Engaged v. State of U.P., 2022 SCC OnLine All 475, had taken note of a news item published in a newspaper on 24-05-2022 regarding cleaning of drains in the city where the workers were carrying out their job without any protective gears, this petition was registered in public interest. Read more

Does advertisement issued in a newspaper with barely any circulation affect fair opportunity to candidates? Allahabad High Court answers

The Division Bench of Rajesh Bindal, CJ. and J.J. Munir, J., in Ravi Pratap Mishra v. State of U.P., 2022 SCC OnLine All 397 dismissed an appeal which was filed against the order of the Single Judge who had dismissed the writ petition filed by the appellant with the observation that prior to his appointment, the vacancy was not properly advertised. Read more

Even after ‘Levana Suites fire’ case, unauthorised hotels still functioning in the city as Lucknow Development Authority has failed to take any action: Allahabad High Court

The Division Bench of Rajesh Bindal, C.J. and Brij Raj Singh, J., in Dr. Surendra Kumar v. State of UP, 2023 SCC OnLine All 18, ordered for a comprehensive affidavit to be filed by the State furnishing explanation regarding the inaction against the unauthorised hotels functioning in Lucknow. Read more

Did Sourav Ganguly play with the ‘System’? Calcutta High Court pens down its decision in illegal allotment of plot to cricketer against State’s land allotment policy

Opining that “process of applying the pick and choose a policy and making allotments at the whims and fancies of the persons in power continued in the State” Division Bench of Rajesh Bindal, CJ and Arijit Banerjee, J., in Humanity, Salt Lake v. State of W.B., 2021 SCC OnLine Cal 2610 remarked that,

“It is a fact that Sourav Ganguly has brought laurels for the country in Cricket. But when it comes to law, our Constitutional Scheme is that all are equal and no one can claim to be exclusive, above the law and seek benefits from the State, especially when question arises for allotment of plots for commercial venues.” Read more

Mismanagement and Wastage of Medicines in Government Hospitals | Taxpayers money cannot be wasted; Calcutta High Court directs State to produce records of medicines, maintain system through IT

The Division Bench of Rajesh Bindal, ACJ. and Arijit Banerjee, J., in Court on its own motion v. State of West Bengal6 suo moto took up a matter in larger public interest which was brought into notice by Shivakant Prasad, J., wherein he had noticed disturbing news published in the daily Hindi newspaper ‘Sanmarg’ regarding apprehension of waste of medicines worth a crore of rupees in Beliaghata ID hospital. Read more

CM Mamta Banerjee’s Dharna at CBI office: Public trust and confidence in the judicial system is more important; Mob cannot have an upper hand: Calcutta High Court

The Division Bench of Rajesh Bindal, CJ(A). and Arijit Banerjee, J., in CBI ACB Kolkata v. Firhad Hakim, 2021 SCC OnLine Cal 1629, were called upon to deal with an extra-ordinary situation where Chief Minister of the State can sit on a dharna outside the office of the Central Bureau of Investigation (‘CBI’) along with her supporters, which had investigated the case and was to present a charge-sheet in court against the accused who are senior party leaders of the party in power in the State, some of them being Ministers. Law Minister of the State was also present in Court where the accused were to be presented along with mob of 2000 to 3000 supporters. Read more

Non-applicant cannot be convicted on the statement of co-accused recorded under S. 67 of the NDPS Act, 1985: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court

A Division Bench of Sanjay Dhar and Rajesh Bindal, JJ., in Union of India v. Rafi Ahmed, 2020 SCC OnLine J&K 643 while dismissing the present application seeking leave to appeal, said, “…the non-applicant cannot be convicted on the statement of co-accused recorded under Section 67 of the NDPS Act, as the same cannot be used as a confessional statement being barred under the provision of Section 25 of the Evidence Act.” Read more

Importer will not be held responsible for bearing the cost of inordinate delay which was condoned by Authorities: Punjab and Haryana High Court

While deciding the case of detainment of imported goods of petitioner for the inordinate period by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) or the customs authorities, the Bench of Rajesh Bindal and Harinder Singh Sidhu, JJ., in Shri Lakshmi Steels v. Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine P&H 12111, said that the importing company cannot be burdened to incur unnecessary detention and demurrage charges if the delay is condoned by the Port Authority. Read more

*Judge who has authored the judgment/order

1. Address to Trainee Judicial Officers at Chandigarh Judicial Academy <Embrace independence, fairness, Justice Rajesh Bindal urges judicial officers : The Tribune India>

2. Justice Rajesh Bindal, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court

3. Justice Rajesh Bindal, Calcutta High Court

4. Justice Rajesh Bindal, Allahabad High Court

5. Justice Rajesh Bindal, Allahabad High Court

6. WPA (P) 180 of 2021, order dated: 22-06-2021

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