J&K Collegium recommends 3 Sr Judicial Officers for appointment as HC Judges

Names of 5 Advocates from Bar quota already forwarded

Neeraj Rohmetra
JAMMU, July 18: Collegium of State High Court has recommended the names of three senior Judicial Officers to the Supreme Court of India for appointment as Judges of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
Highly placed sources told EXCELSIOR that J&K High Court Collegium comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal, first puisne Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey in its recent meeting cleared names of three senior Judicial Officers namely Vinod Chatterji Kaul, Sanjay Dhar and Puneet Gupta for the appointment as Judges of the High Court.
Vinod Chatterji Kaul is presently Principal District and Sessions Judge Jammu while as Sanjay Dhar is Registrar General of the J&K High Court and Puneet Gupta is Member J&K Special Tribunal, Jammu.
“The High Court Collegium has forwarded the names of these three Judicial Officers along with all their relevant details to the Collegium of the Supreme Court for its decision with the copy to the Raj Bhawan for the consideration of the Governor Satya Pal Malik”, sources informed.
As per the precedence, Supreme Court Collegium will take decision on the recommendation of the J&K High Court Collegium and then forward the names to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice for clearance. Later, the list will be submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office for final approval of the Union Government and thereafter to the President of India for issuance of the warrant of appointment.
As per the Memorandum of Procedure in vogue, lawyers with minimum 10 years of experience in practice and falling in the age group of 45-55 years are considered for the posts of High Court Judges. Two-third of the sanctioned strength of a High Court is reserved for Bar and one-third for the Bench.
In the month of March this year, the State High Court Collegium had recommended the names of two Jammu-based lawyers namely Rajnesh Oswal and Rahul Bharti and two Srinagar-based advocates namely Javaid Iqbal Wani and Moksha Kazmi for their appointment as Judges of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. “The list is still lying in the Supreme Court Collegium for its decision”, sources said.
The fifth vacancy of the Bar quota has been left intact as the Supreme Court of India has till date not rejected the April 2018 recommendation of the J&K High Court Collegium in favour of another Jammu-based Senior Advocate Wasim Sadiq Nargal.
Since the Union Ministry of Law and Justice had sought withdrawal of the recommendation of Advocate Wasim Sadiq Nargal, the Supreme Court Collegium has reportedly asked for specific reasons as to why this advocate’s recommendation should be withdrawn. Since then there is no further development in this regard.
The J&K High Court has sanctioned strength of 17 Judges including 13 Permanent Judges and 4 Additional Judges. However, at present there are only nine Judges including Chief Justice Gita Mittal. The other Judges of the High Court are Justice Rajesh Bindal, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Justice Tashi Rabstan, Justice Sanjeev Kumar Shukla, Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta, Justice Sindhu Sharma and Justice Rashid Ali Dar.
Due to shortage of Judges in the High Court lakhs of cases of different nature are pending in both Jammu and Srinagar Wings and Collegium headed by Chief Justice Gita Mittal wants early appointment of new Judges so that disposal of cases picks up momentum.