STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: President of India Ram Nath Kovid on Friday issued the warrants of appointment for three High Court Judges of the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and a notification in this regard has been issued by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice. The Notification vide No. K.13021/02/2019-US.II issued by Rajinder Kashyap, Joint Secretary of Union Ministry of Law and Justice reads, “In exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Vinod Chatterji Koul, Sanjay Dhar and Puneet Gupta, to be Judges of Common High Court for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh, in the order of seniority, with effect from the date they assume charge of their respective offices”. Vinod Chatterji Koul was born on January 21, 1964 at Village Wanpoo, Erstwhile District Anantnag, presently District Kulgam. He did his early schooling from Govt. School Srandoo and Govt. School Kanipora and further schooling from Govt. Hr. Secondary School, Anantnag. He did his Graduation (B.Sc.) from Govt. Degree College, Anantnag and LL.B. from Kashmir University, Srinagar in the year 1989. He migrated along with his parents and siblings to Jammu in January 1990 due to turmoil in Kashmir. He was enrolled as an Advocate with J&K Bar Council in 1990 and started practicing at High Court of J&K with Sr. Advocate Jaswant Singh Kotwal. He cleared the KCS (Judicial) Examination, 1993 and secured first position. He joined as Munsiff in 1995 and his first posting was as District Mobile Magistrate (Traffic), Udhampur; wherefrom he was promoted as Sub Judge in 1997 and was posted as Sub Judge (Electricity Magistrate), Batote. He was posted as the very first Railway Magistrate, Jammu. He served as Sub Judge, Bhadarwah, Sub Judge Ramban, Municipal Magistrate, Jammu, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Udhampur. He was also posted as Deputy Registrar, High Court of J&K wherefrom he was promoted as District and Sessions Judge in the year 2007 and posted as Addl. District & Sessions Judge, Kathua. As District and Sessions Judge, he served in various courts. He served as Addl. District & Sessions Judge, Kathua, 2nd Addl. District & Sessions Judge, Jammu, Addl. District & Sessions Judge, Udhampur, Principal District & Sessions Judge, Anantnag, Principal District & Sessions Judge, Kathua, Special Judge Anti-Corruption (CBI Cases), Jammu. He has also served as Registrar Vigilance, High Court of J&K and Principal District & Sessions Judge, Jammu. Presently, he is posted as Chairman, Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal, J&K. Sanjay Dhar was born on May 11, 1965 at Village Danow Bogund District Kulgam and completed his initial education from Kulgam. He did his graduation in Science Subjects from SP College Srinagar and LLB from University of Kashmir in 1990. He started practice as Advocate in Delhi and appointed as Munsiff in the year 1997. He remained posted as CJM Jammu, Special Judge Anti-corruption Jammu, CBI Court Jammu, Presiding officer MACT, Principal District & Sessions Judge Leh, Kathua and Rajouri. He remained posted as Registrar Vigilance and presented he is posted as Registrar General. Puneet Gupta was born on April 10, 1963. He did his early schooling in KV Jammu and Mahavir Jain High School Jammu. He completed graduation and later LLB (1985) from Jammu University. He joined as Munsiff in the year 1995 and was promoted as District and Sessions Judge in the year 1997. He was also posted as special judge Anti-corruption Jammu, CBI Court Jammu, Registrar Judicial J&K High Court Jammu, Registrar Vigilance (Twice) JK High Court and member Sales Tax Tribunal and presently member Special Tribunal Jammu. With the elevation of these three judicial officers, the strength of Judges of Common High Court for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakhhas been raised from nine to 12. 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 Rajnesh Oswal.
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