Justice Bindal likely to take over as Acting CJ of J&K HC

Justice Gita Mittal Justice Rajesh Bindal
Justice Gita Mittal Justice Rajesh Bindal

Collegium recommends elevation of two Judicial Officers

Neeraj Rohmetra

JAMMU, Dec 2: Justice Rajesh Bindal is likely to take over as Acting Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court after superannuation of present Chief Justice, Justice Gita Mittal on December 8 and a formal notification is likely to be issued soon.
Justice Bindal is the senior-most Judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court after its incumbent Chief Justice.
Chief Justice, Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal have delivered several landmark judgements after joining Jammu and Kashmir High Court and have been instrumental in pushing through major reforms in various sectors across the Union Territory.
In a related development, sources said, “the High Court collegium comprising – Chief Justice, Gita Mittal, Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey has last week recommended two Judicial Officers for elevation as High Court Judge. These included two senior-most Judicial Officers – Mohan Lal Manhas and Mohammad Akram Chowdhary”.
While Mohan Lal Manhas is presently posted as District and Sessions Judge, Udhampur; Mohammad Akram Chowdhary is posted as District and Sessions Judge Samba. “The HC collegium has sent the recommendations to the office of present Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Kumar Sinha with a copy to the Supreme Court collegium along with all the relevant details”, sources in Raj Bhavan asserted.
The J&K High Court has sanctioned strength of 17 Judges including 13 Permanent Judges and 4 Additional Judges. However, at present there are 12 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 Sindhu Sharma, Justice Rajnesh Oswal, Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul, Justice Sanjay Dhar, Justice Puneet Gupta and Justice Javed Iqbal Wani.
After formal orders for elevation of two Judicial Officers are issued, it would take the strength to 13 as another vacancy would be created after retirement of Justice Gita Mittal next week.
Justice Gita Mittal was appointed as first female Chief Justice of J&K High Court on August 3, 2018. Justice Mittal is presently chairing the court committees on the Delhi High Court’s Mediation and Conciliation Centre as well as the committee monitoring the Implementation of Judicial Guidelines for Dealing with Cases of Sexual Offences and Child Witnesses. She is also a member of the Governing Council of the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi since 2013 and has been nominated to its Administrative Committee.
Since August 2008, Justice Gita Mittal has been a member of the Governing Council of the National Law University, Delhi.
Justice Bindal, who joined Jammu and Kashmir High Court on November 19, 2018 is presently the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Building and Infrastructure Committee, Information Technology Committee and State Court Management Systems Committee in the High Court. He is also Chairman of J&K State Legal Service Authority.
Justice Bindal is also the Chairman of the Committee constituted for conducting assessment for optimal use of technology by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and the State Legal Services Authorities including use of Artificial Intelligence. He is also Member of the Committee constituted to go into the existing framework of Lok Adalats and Mediation and to suggest ways for enhancing operational efficiency and methods for better application of these ADR mechanisms for weaker sections of the society.