Justice Ravi Vijaykumar Malimath (2)

Early Life and Career as an Advocate1

Justice Ravi Vijaykumar Malimath Justice was born on 25-05-1962, in one Karnataka’s most illustrious families, full of freedom fighters and legal luminaries. Justice Ravi Malimath graduated in Commerce from M.E.S. College, Bangalore and completed his Law Degree from Sri Jagadguru Renukacharya College of Law. Thereafter, he joined the chambers of Shivraj Patil, who was, later on, elevated as a Judge of the High Court of Karnataka and, thereafter, as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India.

Justice Ravi Malimath practiced in all fields of law such as Constitutional, Civil, Criminal, Labour and Service.

*Did you Know? Justice Ravi Malimath’s paternal grandfather late Justice S.S. Malimath was a freedom-fighter and a pioneer in the struggle for the unification of Karnataka. His maternal grandfather late Dr. S.C. Nandimath was an acclaimed scholar in Theology, Linguistics, Epigraphy, Sanskrit and Kannada. His father late Dr. Justice V.S. Malimath is recognised as one of the finest Chief Justices ever and made monumental contributions for reformation of the legal system.

Career as a Judge

Justice Ravi Malimath was appointed as an Additional Judge of the High Court of Karnataka on 18-02-2008 and as a Permanent Judge on 17-02-20102. He was transferred as a Judge of the High Court of Uttaranchal and was administered oath on 05-03-2020. He was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Uttaranchal w.e.f. 28-07-2020.

He was transferred and took oath as a Judge of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh on 07-01-2021. He assumed charge of the office of Acting Chief Justice w.e.f. 01-07-2021.

He was elevated and transferred as the Chief Justice of High Court of Madhya Pradesh and took oath of office on 14-10-2021.3

Major Milestones4

As Judge of Karnataka High Court, Justice Ravi Malimath delivered many landmark judgments. During his tenure as a Judge from 18-02-2008 to 02-03-2020, Justice Malimath delivered final judgments in 44,886 cases. The statistics indicated that this is one of the highest number of disposals in the State.

Various reforms for the betterment of the judiciary in State of Uttarakhand were undertaken by Justice Ravi Malimath. In a short span of 149 days as Judge and Acting Chief Justice of Uttaranchal High Court, Justice Malimath rendered final judgments in 1501 cases.

In another remarkable display of efficiency, Justice Malimath, during his tenure in Himachal Pradesh High Court, disposed of 1,511 main cases in 105 working days of the Court. Among these 1,511 cases, there were 29 cases which were more than 10 years old and 128 cases which are more than five years old.

Administrative Positions Held5

As a Judge of the High Court of Karnataka, Justice Malimath worked very effectively as the Administrative Judge of many districts. He chaired various Administrative Committees. He was the President of the Bangalore Mediation Centre from 01-05-2017 to 26-01-2018.

Justice Malimath was the President of the Karnataka Judicial Academy from 27-11-2018 to 12-01-2020. He was the Executive Chairman of the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority from 06-10-2019 to 04-03-2020.

He was appointed as the Executive Chairman of the Uttarakhand State Legal Services Authority w.e.f. 13-05-2020.

He was appointed as the Executive Chairman of the Himachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority on 25-02-2021. Several reforms were introduced on the judicial as well as the administrative side. New courts of Civil Judges were opened at Jhandutta in District Bilaspur and at Jaisinghpur in District Kangra. The Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge at Sarkaghat, District Mandi was also opened. Foundation stone of a new Judicial Courts Complex at Arki, District Solan was also laid.

As Acting Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court during Covid-19 period, Justice Malimath supervised and cleared pending promotion matters relating to District Judiciary. Rules were approved for filling up vacancies in District Judiciary. When the lockdown regulations were relaxed, Justice Malimath under his leadership ensured that physical hearings were resumed in the High Court as well as in the Trial Courts throughout the state w.e.f. 09-08-2021.

On 21-12-2023, as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court, Justice Ravi Malimath inaugurated the Integrated Video Surveillance System and Courtroom Live Audio-Visual Streaming System (CLASS) and OTT Platform at the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

Notable Judgments

3 years practice or 70% marks in bachelor’s degree mandatory for Civil Judge exam: MP HC upholds validity of amendment in MP Judicial Service Rules

In a batch of writ petitions filed to set aside the amendment in the Rule 7 of the Madhya Pradesh Judicial Service (Recruitment and Conditions of Service) Rules, 1994 (‘Rules, 1994’), for being unconstitutional, a division bench of Ravi Malimath, CJ.* and Vishal Mishra, J. has held that the impugned Rule is not ultra vires the constitution as it has a direct nexus with the object sought to be achieved of having quality dispensation of justice. Further, the Court held that the requirement of securing 70% marks in aggregate in the first attempt in the case of General and OBC candidates and 50% marks in the case of Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes candidates is not violative of Articles 14, 16 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. [Devansh Kaushik v. State of M.P., 2024 SCC OnLine MP 2272]

MP High Court permits termination of minor rape survivor’s pregnancy despite exceeding 24 weeks gestation

In an appeal against the dismissal of writ petition seeking termination of minor rape survivor’s pregnancy, a division bench comprising of Ravi Malimath, CJ., and Vishal Mishra,* J., permitted the termination of the appellant’s pregnancy despite exceeding 24 weeks gestation under specific conditions, including the presence of expert medical personnel, provision of post-operative care, and safeguarding of DNA evidence for potential use in the criminal case against the perpetrator, considering her status as a minor rape survivor and relevant medical risks. [Survivor v. Superintendent of Police Dept., Bhopal, 2024 SCC OnLine MP 2871]

Contempt of Court | MP High Court imposes ₹1 lakh cost on news editor for vilification of a sitting judge in a 2011 news report

In a criminal contempt petition against the editor of a Hindi newspaper in Gwalior for publishing a news report “Sarvoch Nayalaya Aaj Ki Tarah Nishpakch ho jai to Judge Shri Mody Ji Ko Jail Mein Hona Tha” against one of sitting judges of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Justice Modi in 2011, a division bench comprising of Ravi Malimath, CJ., and Milind Ramesh Phadke,* J., held that the respondent’s actions indeed constituted criminal contempt of court under Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. The Court noted that despite warnings and opportunities to retract statements, the respondent persisted in justifying the publication, demonstrating a lack of remorse, and imposed a fine of Rs. 2,000/- and costs of Rs. 1,00,000/- to the M.P. High Court Bar Association, Gwalior, as punishment. [In Reference v. Suman Singh Sikarwar, 2024 SCC OnLine MP 2933]

Sidhi Urination Incident | Madhya Pradesh High Court seeks reply from State in plea against the detention order against the accused

A Division bench comprising of Ravi Malimath, CJ., and Vishal Mishra, J., directed the respondents to file the reply and to procure the original record within 2 weeks. In the instant matter, the Sidhi District Collector passed a detention order under the National Security Act, 1980 (NSA) against the accused, Pravesh Shukla who was accused of urinating upon a tribal man in the Sidhi district of the state of Madhya Pradesh. [Kanchan Shukla v. State of M.P., 2023 SCC OnLine MP 2067]

Threatening Judges with Contempt Pleas is unacceptable; Madhya Pradesh High Court warns litigants to desist from such adventurism

While criticising most reprehensible practice used by litigants of bringing every wrong order that is passed by the Trial Courts under the petition for contempt, a Division Bench comprising of Ravi Malimath, CJ* and Vishal Mishra, J., strongly pulled up litigants for making reckless allegations against trial judges and warned them to desist from such ‘adventurism’. [Majid Beg v. Tej Pratap Singh, 2022 SCC OnLine MP 2811]

A writ for mandamus cannot lie to direct the State to enact a law: Madhya Pradesh HC

The Division Bench of Ravi Malimath, CJ. and Dinesh Kumar Paliwal, J.dismissed a petition which was filed in public interest praying for a writ of mandamus to incorporate certain provisions in the law, namely, Section 14-A of the Madhya Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act, 1956 and Section 32-A of the Madhya Pradesh Municipalities Act, 1961. [Nagrik Upbhokta Marg Darshak Manch v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2022 SCC OnLine MP 397]

Mental cruelty is no less than physical cruelty, wife causing mental cruelty to husband valid ground for dissolution of marriage; Uttaranchal HC dismisses appeal

A Division Bench of Ravi Malimath and Narayan Singh Dhanik, JJ., dismissed and appeal which was filed aggrieved by the judgment and order of the Principal Judge, Family Court whereby the suit of the plaintiff-husband (respondent herein) for dissolution of marriage was decreed. The Court while dismissing the appeal affirmed the order of the Family Court explaining that the word “cruelty’ was not defined under Hindu Marriage Act and it could be physical or mental. [Anita Gaur v. Rajesh Gaur, 2020 SCC OnLine Utt 503]

Wife not eligible for medical examination of whether she can conceive or not during Divorce proceedings: Uttaranchal HC

A Division Bench of Ravi Malimath and Narayan Singh Dhanik, JJ., allowed an appeal which was filed aggrieved by the order passed by the trial court in ordering the medical examination of the wife. The Court while allowing the appeal quashed the Family Court’s Order and stated that husband had sought for a decree of divorce on the grounds under Sections 13 (ia) and 13 (ib) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Section 13 (ia) is with regard to cruelty and Section 13 (ib) is with regard to desertion. Therefore, the husband would have to establish these two facts before the court in order to seek divorce on these grounds. The ability of the wife to conceive or not has no relevance or any nexus with Section 13 (ia) or Section 13 (ib) of the Hindu Marriage Act. [Rashmi Gupta v. Yogesh Babu, 2020 SCC OnLine Utt 339]

Karnataka HC reduces interim maintenance amount on account of it being ‘excessive’ owing to low income of the husband

A Single Judge Bench comprising of Ravi Malimath, J. allowed a writ petition filed under Article 227 of the Constitution against an interim maintenance order on account of it being arbitrary against the husband. The Court agreed with the petitioner that taking into account the low income of the petitioner against a considerably higher income of the respondent, the maintenance awarded was far too excessive. [Rachayya v. Bhagyalaxmi, 2018 SCC OnLine Kar 1821]

An order of acquittal does not entail interference unless gross perversity is shown: Karnataka HC

A Single Judge Bench comprising of Ravi Malimath, J., decided a criminal appeal filed by the State under Section 378 of CrPC, wherein the order of acquittal of the accused passed by the trial court was upheld. The Court was of the view that the evidence was full of discrepancies, and the pleas of the complainant could not be accepted. Also, in an appeal against an acquittal, such order is not to be interfered with unless gross perversity in that order is shown. [State v. Nasir6]

Non-consideration of a disputed document is not a ground to seek review: Karnataka HC

While passing the order in a review petition filed under Order 47, Rule 1 of CPC praying to review the order passed in a writ appeal, a two- Judge Bench comprising of Subhro Kamal Mukherjee, CJ and Ravi Malimath, J. held that non-consideration of a disputed document is not a ground to seek the review of the order. [N.M. Shashikala v. The Deputy Director7]

1. Chief Justice | High Court of Madhya Pradesh (mphc.gov.in)

2. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ravi Malimath (kar.nic.in)

3. Madhya Pradesh State Legal Services Authority | Home (mpslsa.gov.in)

4. Chief Justice | High Court of Madhya Pradesh (mphc.gov.in)

5. Supra

6. Crl. Appeal No. 1263 of 2016

7. Review Petition No. 370 of 2016 in W.A. No. 1047 0f 2016 (GM-RES)

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