SC clears Koul, Dhar, Gupta for elevation as HC Judges

TNN Bureau. Updated: 2/21/2020 10:53:02 AM Front Page

JAMMU: The Supreme Court collegium has approved the names of three senior most Judicial Officers of for their elevation as the Judges of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
The collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, approved the proposals of elevation of Vinod Chatterji Koul presently posted as Chairman Sales Tax Tribunal, Sanjay Dhar presently posted as Registrar General J&K High Court, and Puneet Gupta presently posted as Member Special Tribunal Jammu.
Their names were recommended by the J&K High Court Collegium on July 18, last year.
As per the precedence, Supreme Court Collegium has forwarded their 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.
Only on January 23 this year, the Centre had cleared the name of Advocate Rajnesh Oswal for his appointment as Judge of the High Court of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, while as the SC Collegium recommended the name of Javed Iqbal Wani to Union Law Ministry for his appointment as Judge.
Currently a warrant of appointment is awaited from Rashtrapati Bhavan for Oswal, even as the Centre is mulling over names of Wani and advocate Moksha Kazmi for their clearance.
While Oswal’s appointment is confirmed, if the names of three judicial officers as well as those of Wani and Kazmi are approved, their appointment as judges will raise the strength of the state’s High Court to 14 from present 8, against the sanctioned strength of 17.
This will provide for an inadequate yet much-needed breather for the already weaker- in terms of numbers- higher judicial system of the state which presently has only 8 Judges against the sanctioned strength of 17 (including Chief Justice)-- 13 Permanent Judges and 4 Additional Judges.
The other 8 judges are Chief Justice Gita Mittal, Justice Rajesh Bindal, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Justice Tashi Rabstan, Justice Sanjeev Kumar Shukla, Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta, and Justice Sindhu Sharma.

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