JAMMU, Apr 7: Chief Justice Gita Mittal today administered oath of office to three newly appointed Judges of J&K High Court at a modest oath ceremony held today.
The Judges who took oath of office are Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul, Justice Sanjay Dhar and Justice Puneet Gupta.
On account of guidelines with regard to measures for containment of COVID-19 pandemic in the country issued by the Government of India and the Government of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and in order to avoid gathering as well as to maintain social distancing, the other Judges of the High Court joined the oath ceremony through video conference. The oath ceremony was also live streamed on internet through webcast.
Advocate General, Assistant Solicitor General of India of both the wings of the High Court, President Bar Association, High Court of J&K, Jammu and Secretary Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs of J&K UT also joined the oath ceremony through video linkage.
Warrants of appointments of Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul, Justice Sanjay Dhar and Justice Puneet Gupta read by Jawad Ahmed, Officiating Registrar General High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in English and Hindi.
Earlier, in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir, the warrant of the appointment of a Judge of the High Court used to be in three languages- English, Urdu and Hindi and owing to the reason that State language was Urdu, the warrant used to be read in English and Urdu version only.
With the appointment of Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul, Justice Sanjay Dhar and Justice Puneet Gupta as Judges of the High Court, the strength of J&K High Court has increased from nine to 12. The J&K High Court has sanctioned strength of 17 Judges including 13 Permanent Judges and 4 Additional Judges.
Since the Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir ceased to have effect since August 5, the three Judges were sworn oath under the Indian Constitution. Recently, Justice Rajnesh Oswal became the first Judge of the J&K High Court to take oath under the Indian Constitution. All previous Judges of the High Court had taken oath under the J&K Constitution.
Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul was enrolled as an Advocate with J&K Bar Council in 1990 and started practicing at High Court of J&K with Senior Advocate Jaswant Singh Kotwal. He cleared the KCS (Judicial) Examination in 1993 with first position. He joined as Munsiff in 1995 and was promoted as District and Sessions Judge in the year 2007.
He has served in various posts in different capacity particularly as Principal District & Sessions Judge, Anantnag, Kathua and Jammu, Special Judge Anti-Corruption (CBI Cases), Registrar Vigilance, High Court of J&K and Chairman, Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal, J&K.
Justice Sanjay Dhar started practice as Advocate in Delhi and appointed as Munsiff in the year 1997 and promoted as Sub-Judge in the year 2001. He has served as Special Judge Anticorruption Jammu, CBI Court Jammu, Presiding Officer MACT, Principal District & Sessions Judge Leh, Kathua and Rajouri, Registrar Vigilance and Registrar General.
Justice Puneet Gupta joined as Munsiff in the year 1995 and promoted as District and Sessions judge in the year 2007. He has served as Special Judge Anti-corruption Jammu, CBI Court Jammu, Registrar Judicial J&K High Court Jammu, Registrar Vigilance High Court and Member Sales Tax and Special Tribunal Jammu.