Governor seeks clarifications on vital issues from HC Collegium

Neeraj Rohmetra
JAMMU, Oct 5: Governor N N Vohra has sought detailed clarifications on certain important issues pertaining to the panel recommended by Jammu and Kashmir High Court Collegium for appointment as Judges.
Sources in Raj Bhawan told EXCELSIOR that after minutely examining the file pertaining to the appointment of new Judges to the J&K High Court, the Governor has zeroed in on certain important aspects, which were not mentioned in the file submitted by the Collegium.
Accordingly, the Governor has sent a communication to the Chief Justice Bader Durrez Ahmed seeking information on antecedents of some of the persons whose names have been recommended by the Collegium.
“The Governor has sought details vis-à-vis clearance from intelligence agencies as there were adverse reports against some of the recommended persons. Moreover, the Raj Bhawan has received several representations pertaining to the credibility issues of some of the persons recommended by the Collegium”, sources said.
The issue of appointment of new Judges to J&K High Court also came up for discussion during the recent meeting of Governor and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti at Srinagar. The Governor had conveyed to the Chief Minister his observations on certain important points in respect of some of the persons recommended by the Collegium for appointment as Judges, sources informed.
As already reported exclusively by EXCELSIOR, the Collegium has recommended four Advocates two each from Jammu and Kashmir regions respectively while one senior Judicial Officer has also been included in the panel. These included Nazir Ahmad Beigh, S A Makroo, Wasim Nargal, Sindhu Sharma and Rashid Ali Dar.
Rashid Ali Dar is presently posted as Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar. Advocate Sindhu Sharma is presently Assistant Solicitor General of India in J&K High Court, Jammu Wing and she was the first lady Advocate of State to be appointed as Assistant Solicitor General of India.
Advocate Wasim Sadiq Nargal is presently Senior Additional Advocate General and had earlier also served as Additional Advocate General (Home Department) in the Jammu Wing of the High Court. Advocate S A Makroo had earlier served as Assistant Solicitor General of India in J&K High Court, Srinagar Wing.
Interestingly, the name of Nazir Ahmad Beigh has been recommended for the second time by the High Court Collegium. Earlier, in January, 2014 also the HC Collegium headed by the then Chief Justice, M M Kumar had initiated the process for appointment of four new High Court Judges and one of the contenders was Nazir Ahmad Beigh. However, he couldn’t make it to the final selection list”.
The sanctioned strength of the J&K High Court is 17 Judges including Chief Justice, but presently there are only 11 Judges. These included Justice R Sudhakar, Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir, Justice Alok Aradhe, Justice Ali Mohd Magrey, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Justice Tashi Rabstan, Justice Janak Raj Kotwal, Justice Sanjeev Kumar Shukla, Justice M K Hanjura, Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta besides Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed.
Recently, the President of India approved transfer of Justice B S Walia from J&K to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana.