SC Collegium Recommends Manjusha Deshpande As Bombay HC Judge

Supreme Court Collegium recommends advocate Manjusha Ajay Deshpande as a Bombay High Court judge, aiming to enhance representation and expertise. The government's approval is now awaited for this significant step towards a diverse and competent judiciary.

Harnur Watta
New Update
Image credits: Law Insider India

Image credits: Law Insider India

In a significant development, the Supreme Court Collegium has put forth the name of advocate Manjusha Ajay Deshpande for consideration as a judge of the esteemed Bombay High Court, pending approval from the central government. This recommendation comes as the High Court strives to strengthen its judicial capacity and ensure a more diverse representation on the bench.

Currently, the Bombay High Court operates with a total of 66 judges, consisting of 40 permanent judges and 26 additional judges. However, the sanctioned strength of the court, which stands at an impressive 94, emphasises the need for additional judicial appointments.

As the second largest High Court in India, only surpassed by the Allahabad High Court, the Bombay High Court plays a crucial role in the country's legal system. Presently, the court boasts 10 women judges, whose contributions have been invaluable.

The Supreme Court Collegium, composed of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, and Justices S K Kaul and Sanjiv Khanna, made this recommendation following a resolution by the High Court Collegium, led by the former Chief Justice Dipankar Datta (now a Supreme Court judge), on September 26, 2022.

The decision regarding Manjusha Ajay Deshpande's appointment was initially deferred by the Supreme Court collegium on May 2 of this year. The collegium sought a report from the then-Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, Justice Sanjay V Gangapurwala (currently the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court), due to concerns raised by the government. 

In response to this, Justice Gangapurwala consulted with his colleagues at the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court and submitted a detailed report on May 10, shedding light on the matter.

The Supreme Court Collegium acknowledged the inputs provided by the government and carefully evaluated them alongside the report presented by the former Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. After thorough consideration, the collegium stated, "In our assessment, the candidate is a competent lawyer."


Manjusha Ajay Deshpande has been practising law for over 32 years since 1991 and possesses extensive knowledge in various legal domains, with particular expertise in constitutional and service matters. Notably, Deshpande has been associated with the panel of government lawyers since 2013, further enhancing her legal acumen.

The collegium also emphasised the significance of promoting gender diversity on the bench and remarked, "The elevation of the candidate would add to the representation of women on the Bench of the High Court of Bombay, particularly amongst women lawyers practising before the Bench at Aurangabad.

In light of these considerations and the proposal for her appointment, the collegium concluded that Advocate Deshpande is a deserving and suitable candidate for the position of a judge on the esteemed Bombay High Court.

Suggested Reading: SC Recommended 5 Women Judicial Officers For Elevation As Judges

Bombay High Court Supreme court Judge