Ashish J. Desai is an Indian lawyer, who has served as a Judge as well as the Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court. He hit the headlines in July 2023 after the Supreme Court collegium recommended his name for the post of the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court.
Ashish Jitendra Desai was born on Thursday, 5 July 1962 (age 61 years; as of 2023) in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. His zodiac sign is Cancer. After completing his schooling, he enrolled at St. Xavier’s College in Ahmedabad, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in arts in economics in 1982. Thereafter, he joined Sir L.A. Shah Law College in Ahmedabad, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in law in 1985. Following the completion of his formal education, he took the Bar Council of Gujarat’s examination and successfully passed it, officially joining the council as a practising lawyer on 27 November 1985.
Ashish J. Desai belongs to a family of lawyers and judges in Gujarat.
Parents & Siblings
His father Jitendra P. Desai (deceased) served as a judge of the Gujarat High Court from 1983 to 1989.
Wife & Children
His marital status is not known.
After enrolling as an advocate in the Bar Council of Gujarat, Desai joined the office of M. C. Bhatt and Daksha M. Bhatt, two well-established lawyers in Gujarat, and started working with them as an apprentice. Thereafter, he started practising at the City Civil and Sessions Court in Ahmedabad. In 1991, he started representing his clients at the Gujarat High Court. In 1994, the Government of Gujarat appointed him as an assistant government pleader. In 1995, he assumed the post of an additional public prosecutor. In 2006, he was appointed as the central government standing counsel; he remained a counsel till 2009. He has served as legal counsel for his clients in a wide range of legal matters, including constitutional, civil, and criminal cases. On 21 November 2011, he was appointed as an additional judge of the Gujarat High Court, and on 6 September 2013, he was appointed as a permanent judge of the Gujarat High Court. On 26 February 2023, he assumed the post of acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court after the then Chief Justice Sonia Gokani relinquished the post.
In July 2023, the collegium of the Supreme Court put forward Ashish J. Desai’s name as a recommendation for the position of Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court. In its recommendation, the Supreme Court’s collegium stated,
Having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that Mr Justice Desai is suitable in all respects for being appointed as Chief Justice of the High Court of Kerala. In view of the above, the Collegium resolves to recommend that Mr Justice Ashish J Desai be appointed as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Kerala.”
As per sources, while recommending Desai’s name, the Supreme Court Collegium considered the fact that the Chief Justices of the High Courts did not include any representation from the High Court of Gujarat.
As per the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC), the salary of a judge of a high court is estimated to be Rs. 2,25,000 + other allowances.
- He has served on the panel of Gujarat Electricity Board as well as on the panel of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited.
- Desai is a hodophile (one who likes to travel a lot) and has visited numerous places.