Justice Hima Kohli was sworn in as the new chief justice of the Telangana High Court in Hyderabad recently. What makes it special is that Hima is the first woman Chief Justice in the Telangana High Court.
Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan administered the oath at a ceremony in Raj Bhavan where Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, Union Minister of State G. Kishan Reddy, state ministers and High Court judges were present.
She replaced Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan, who has been transferred to Uttarakhand High Court, following the recommendation of the Supreme Court Collegium last month. Justice Raghavendra Singh Chouhan had been serving as the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court since June 3, 2019.
Born on September 2 1959, Hima did her schooling from St. Thomas School and graduated from St. Stephens College, University of Delhi. Hima did not stop educating herself and went on to complete her post graduation with flying colours, following which she joined the LLB course at the Law Faculty, Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi.
After finishing her course in law in 1984, she soon enrolled as an advocate in the Bar Council of Delhi. In 1999, Justice Hima was appointed as the Standing Counsel in the High Court of Delhi until 2004.
Two years later in 2006, she also attained the position of Additional Judge of the High Court of Delhi and took an oath as a Permanent Judge on August 29, 2007.
Subsequently, she was asked to be a Member of the General Council of the West Bengal National University of Judicial Sciences, Kolkata from August 11, 2017.
Earlier in June 2020, Hima became a respected member of the Governing Council of the National Law University.
She was also on a bench monitoring Delhi's preparedness in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also been instrumental in advocating increased number of labs to conduct more COVID-19 tests in Delhi, and called for the wait period for test results to be reduced to one day from three days.
On her first day as the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court, she heard 35 cases along with Justice Rao and disposed of 60 percent of these.
Justice Kohli has been known to advise counsels to attend court to argue cases, instead of seeking adjournments. She said adjournment dates could not be given at the sweet wishes of counsels. She would ensure that the conventions and practices being followed at the Telangana High Court are honoured and the opinions of the Bar held in high esteem.
(Edited by Anju Narayanan)