The Punjab government has terminated the services of two lower court judges following a full court recommendation from the Punjab and Haryana HC for their premature compulsory retirement. Both the judicial officers have been relieved from their services.
Sources said that the Punjab and Haryana HC had recommended premature compulsory retirement of the Additional District and Sessions Judge Harjinder Pal Singh after a full court decision on March 6 following a complaint against him that he “pressurised” a junior judge in adjudication of a matrimonial matter. HC, after the full court’s recommendation, had withdrawn the judicial work from him.
A division bench comprising Justices AB Chaudhari and Inderjit Singh on May 1 was informed about the government notification by HC’s own counsel Rajeev Kawatra during hearing of Harjinder’s petition against the withdrawal of judicial work.
“The copy of the notification is handed over to DS Patwalia, the learned senior Advocate, who may amend the petition, if so advised. Leave to amend,” the division bench has said in the order.
Advocate Saurabh Arora, who appears in the case along with senior Advocate Patwalia, told The Indian Express that the petition has now been amended following the government’s notification.
“We were informed about the government’s decision only during the hearing of the case on May 1. Our main contention is that the decision has been passed without holding any inquiry,” he said.
The order in the case of Harjinder(58), has been passed with retrospective effect with his retirement to be considered from the age of 55.
The government has also ordered the premature retirement of Chief Judicial Magistrate KK Bansal and he also has been relieved from his services.
Sources said that the complaints against Bansal relate to disciplinary rules and regarding some judicial decisions in NDPS cases. His judicial work had been withdrawn prior to Harjinder but the notifications regarding their premature retirement have been passed in the last week of April.