The Supreme Court has appointed senior advocate and former Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar as the new amicus curiae in the case relating to the administration of Jagannath Temple. A three-judge bench of Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri, Justice Mukeshkumar Rasikbhai Shah and Justice Abdul Nazeer made the appointment. Senior Advocate Priya Hingorani was entrusted to assist the newly appointed amicus curiae in his work. The hearing of the case has been deferred till February 5.
Kumar’s appointment as amicus curiae comes after Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium who was acting as the amicus curiae in the case withdrew from the case in November last year. The case relates to a PIL filed by advocate Mrinalini Padhi on the temple reforms. The PIL brought to the notice of the court the alleged mismanagement by the temple Sevayats. The court had directed the temple administration to implement 12 proposals as part of disciplinary reforms.
Ranjit Kumar was appointed as the Solicitor General of India on June 7, 2014, succeeding Mohan Parasaran. Kumar, however, resigned from the post in October 2017 citing personal reasons and the intention to move to private practice in his resignation letter. Kumar has also represented the government in a number of important cases including the Sohrabuddin Case and the case relating to the use of pellet guns by the Army in Kashmir.