Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar


13th May 2016 - 29th Jul 2022

Justice Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar has had an exemplary legal career. After pursuing hisB.Com from Mulund College of Commerce, Mumbai, he graduated with an L.L.B. from K. C. Law College, Mumbai.

Justice Khanwilkar was enrolled as Advocate on 10th February, 1982, and after 18 years of experience in litigation, was appointed as Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court in 2000 and subsequently confirmed as a permanent Judge in 2002.

Justice Khanwilkar was appointed as Chief Justice of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh on 4th April, 2013. Thereafter, he was transferred and appointed as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court on 24th November, 2013. 3 years later, he was elevated as Judge of Supreme Court of India and assumed charge in 2016.

Notable Judgements

As Chief Justice of Himanchal Pradesh, Justice Khanwilkar curbed the Chief Ministers arbitrary power of transfer by stating that where any transfer is ordered merely on the recommendations of a Minister or MLA, then before ordering such transfer, views of the administrative department must be ascertained.

He was part of the 3-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court, which allowed a writ petition filed by the mother of a 13-year-old rape victim, seeking medical termination of the daughter’s 24-week-old foetus.

He was also a part of the Supreme Court Bench that ordered that medical colleges in the State of Tamil Nadu will have to use National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) as the only basis for admissions. Denying the State Government’s plea to accommodate students from rural backgrounds, Justice Khanwilker said that ‘There can be no compromise on intellect, and students who have labored hard and appeared in NEET should not suffer.’

A bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Khanwilkar, and Justice Chandrachud ordered the revisiting of guidelines by the 2-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court in July 2017, which diluted the effect of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code.


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