Jammu, Oct 9: Uncertainty continues over the appointment of six new High Court Judges in Jammu and Kashmir as the panel suggested by a collegium awaits nod from the Supreme Court of India.
Official sources said that the six persons, including four lawyers and two senior most district judges, recommended by the State High Court for appointment as judges of Jammu and Kashmir High Court are still awaiting clearance from the Supreme Court.
"The names were cleared by the State Government and Governor of Jammu and Kashmir," official sources in the Law department told Greater Kashmir, adding, "The names were formally recommended to the Supreme Court, which has the final authority to recommend the appointment to the President of India."
Out of the total sanctioned strength of 14 judges, only seven judges, including Chief Justice, are presently posted at the High Court, resulting in backlog of cases. Official figures reveal that due to the vacancy of Judges in the High Court, the pendency of cases has crossed more than 80,000.
In June this year, a collegium of the State High Court, headed by the then Chief Justice, had recommended the names of five advocates and two judges for the vacant posts. However, after the death of Hakim Ishtiyaq Hussain, the number has come down to six. Commissioner Secretary Law, when contacted in this regard, said, "Six names were recommended to the Supreme Court. The file is still pending with the Supreme Court for clearance."
He, however, hoped, "With the appointment of new Chief Justice of India we can expect that the names would be cleared shortly and the vacancies of judges in High Court will be filled."
As per the procedure, three senior most judges of High Court, including Chief Justice and two others, recommend the names of the persons to be appointed as judges to the Law department and the Chief Minister. These names are then forwarded to Governor. The Governor then forwards these names to the Supreme Court Collegium.
The names after clearance from the SC are then sent to the Union Law ministry. The ministry after giving its clearance finally forwards these names to the President of India.
The six names recommended for the posts include Special Judge, CBI Court Jammu, BL Bhat, and Janak Raj Kotwal, Member, J&K Special Tribunal, Jammu, from the judges quota. The proposed names from the Bar quota include senior Additional Advocate General, Ali Muhammad Magray, senior High Court lawyer, Azhar-ul-Amin, Advocate DS Thakur and Tashi Robertson from Leh.