Former Senior AAG Nargal’s case pending with government despite CJI’s nod
STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: The Supreme Court Collegium on Thursday approved the proposal for elevation of Advocate Moksha Kazmi and Advocate Rajnesh Oswal as Judges of Jammu and Kashmir High Court (JKHC). Registrar General of the Supreme Court had invited four Jammu and Kashmir-based advocates Javed Iqbal Wani, Moksha Kazmi, Rahul Bharti and Rajnish Oswal in New Delhi on October 15, for an interaction with the Supreme Court Collegium. In the month of March this year, these four names were recommended by the State High Court. According to SC statement uploaded on its internet site today, out of four, the proposal for elevation of Advocate Moksha Kazmi and Advocate Rajnesh Oswal as JK High Court judges has been approved. The fate of other two cases is yet not known as the Supreme Court has not issued any statement so far. As per the precedence, the Supreme Court Collegium takes 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 is 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. Jammu-based former Senior Additional Advocate General (AAG) Waseem Sadiq Nargal was also cleared by the Supreme Court Collegium. However, the Union Ministry of Law and Justice subsequently sent his case for reconsideration and the SC Collegium in January 2019 had sought reasons for sending his case for reconsideration inspite of the fact that he was cleared by the Supreme Court Collegium in April 2018 and no reasons were given by the Union Law Ministry for not appointing Nargal as Judge of the High Court and resending his case inspite of passing of more than nine months since the Supreme Court Collegium has sought reasons from the Law ministry. The file has not been send back by the Union Law Ministry to the SC Collegium.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) in its letter dated July 31, 2019 had attached list of 43 names pending with the government and also 10 more cases which were deferred but not taken up as some more information was required to clear but till date it has not been done.
The deferred cases for approval as High Court judges included Sourab Kirpal (Delhi HC), Wasim Sadiq Nargal (JKHC) and judicial officers from Rajasthan High Court. Inspite of nod from Chief Justice of India way back in July, these cases have not been cleared by the government.
Name of former senior AAG Nargal was cleared by SC Collegium on April 6, 2018 along with three others and he was at number one in the seniority but was not appointed and subsequently his case was send for reconsideration to SC Collegium by central government. SC Collegium vide resolution dated January 16, 2019 had requested government to give specific reasons for sending his file for reconsideration when he was already cleared by SC Collegium on April 6, 2018.
Subsequently, the CJI directed government to clear former senior AAG Nargal’s case along with other pending cases but till date his case has not been cleared.
Sources said that the final decision was expected in the next two weeks, before Chief Justice Gogoi’s retirement and before the State’s transition into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh on October 31.
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.
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. One more post would be falling vacant with the retirement of Justice Rashid Ali Dar next month.
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