17th Feb 2017 - 4th May 2023
Justice Mohan M. Shantangoudar was born on 5th May, 1958, and enrolled as an Advocate in 1980. He practiced for one year at Dharwad in the Chambers of Mr I.G. Hiregoudar, Advocate before shifting practice to Bengaluru. He went on to Join the Chambers of Mr Shivaraj V. Patil, Advocate (as he then was), who later adorned the Supreme Court of India. Justice Shantanagoudar started his independent practice in 1984, and practiced mainly in Civil, Criminal and Constitutional matters.
Justice Shantanagoudar served as Vice-Chairman of Karnataka State Bar Council from 1991 to 1993 and as Chairman of Karnataka State Bar Council during 1995 and 1996. He also served as State Public Prosecutor of Karnataka State from 1999 to 2002.
He was appointed as Additional Judge of the Karnataka High Court in 2003 and as Permanent Judge in 2004. During this time, he was the President of Bangalore Mediation Centre and Karnataka Judicial Academy.
On transfer, Justice Shantanagoudar was sworn-in as Judge, High Court of Kerala, and assumed charge as Acting Chief Justice on 01.08.2016. He was almost immediately sworn in as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Kerala on 22.09.2016. He was eventually elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court of India on 17th February, 2017.
Justice Shantanagoudar was part of a three-Judge Bench which stated that the remedy of writ of habeas corpus cannot be used for mere enforcement of the directions given by the foreign court against a person within its jurisdiction and convert that jurisdiction into that of an existing court. The SC thus reversed the decision of the Delhi High Court which had allowed a habeas corpus as there was an order in a UK Court to that effect.
Along with Justice Nariman, Justice Shantangoudar held that in case of suicide of wife, acquittal of the husband under Section 498A (Cruelty) will bar the use of Section 113A (Presumption of abetment to commit suicide) by the prosecution. The Court also held that harassment is something of a lesser degree than cruelty, and mere finding of harassment will not lead to a conclusion of abetment of suicide.
A division Bench of which Justice Shantanagoudar was part also upheld a Calcutta High Court observation, and held that 25 percent of the husbands net salary would be just and proper to be awarded as maintenance to the wife.
Taking a stand against the long-standing delays in the Judiciary, Justice Shantanagoudar along with Justice Mishra directed High Courts to dispose of review petitions as expeditiously as possible.