High Court,JK Govt at loggerheads


Jammu, Jan 6: Appointment of new district judges (direct quota) has brought Jammu and Kashmir government and State High Court almost at loggerheads, with the former being accused of delaying the process unnecessarily.
It was reliably learnt that the State High Court has taken serious exception to the “delaying tactics” being adopted by the state government in appointing seven new district judges, despite a directive from Supreme Court, especially in view of the fact that around a dozen vacancies in the state was creating hurdles in early disposal of the cases.
Though at least nine new district judges were cleared by the State High Court, candidature of one of them was later withdrawn, while Supreme Court has stayed selection of another.
If sources are to be believed, the state’s Law Department had forwarded the recommendations of the High Court to the Chief Minister’s office for final nod – before sending the file to Governor. “The file was returned to the Law Department asking it to seek fresh panel from the high court in view of the latest SC directives, which stayed selection of two candidates”, sources claimed adding, “The High Court has written back to the Law Department the same day declaring that the earlier panel, sent by it, was valid”.
“The queries are being raised only to delay the matter and there is absolutely no legal impediment in appointing the new judges, who have cleared higher judicial services examination”, a senior official in the state High Court said, on condition of anonymity, adding, “There are around a dozen courts without presiding officers and Supreme Court as well as the union government have sought opening of new fast-track courts”.
The Law Department on the other hand, sources said, was delaying the process so as to ensure appointment of all the district judges, whose panel was earlier sent by the HC. “The case is listed for hearing before SC in February. This could be the reason for the Law Department to delay the matter”, sources in the civil secretariat claimed.
However, Minister for Law Ali Muhammad Sagar and Secretary Law were not available for comment.
The High Court had in August, last year, finalized the list of nine advocates to be appointed as District and Sessions Judges under direct quota.
They included five candidates from Kashmir and four from Jammu region.
The names, which were forwarded to the state government, included Muhammad Altaf Khan, Haq Nawaz Zargar, Tahir Khurshid Raina, Shazia Tabasum, Tasleem Arief, Sonia Gupta, Rajinder Sapru, Naseer Ahmed Dar and Pawan Kumar Kundal.
However, several writ petitions were filed before the state High Court as well as Apex court by the unsuccessful candidates, who alleged that the selection was done in violation of the rules. The SC stayed the selection process but later vacated it partially asking the state government and HC to proceed with the selection process of seven out of the nine candidates.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 6 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 6 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 7 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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