Updated: October 19, 2021 7:12:41 am
In yet another departure from the Memorandum of Procedure that governs the process of appointment of judges to the higher judiciary, six months after the Supreme Court Collegium reiterated for a second time its recommendation to appoint an advocate as judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, the government is yet to act on it.
The Indian Express has learnt that the Collegium reiterated for a second time its recommendation for advocate Sadiq Wasim Nagral in March this year. Sources said that Nagral’s is currently the oldest recommendation pending with the government.
A Jammu-based advocate, Nagral has served as the Senior Additional Advocate General of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir and mostly represented the Home Ministry. As a Central government counsel, he has represented security forces, including the Army, BSF and CRPF before the High Court.
Nagral’s name was first proposed by the High Court Collegium on August 24, 2017. His candidature was approved by the Supreme Court Collegium on April 6, 2018. Subsequently, in January 2019 and again in March this year, the Supreme Court Collegium reiterated its decision.
Conventionally, the government is bound to accept the recommendation of the Collegium if the decision has been reiterated.
Apart from Nagral, the Supreme Court Collegium reiterated two other names as judges for the J&K High Court, which remain pending with the government. On September 1, it reiterated names of advocates Moksha Khajuria Kazmi and Rahul Bharti.
While Kazmi’s name was first recommended in October 2019, Bharti’s was recommended in March. Khajuria Kazmi is a senior advocate who served as Additional Advocate General during Governor’s rule in 2016 and continued to serve in the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP-BJP government in J&K, before her services were terminated.
Khajuria Kazmi and Bharti’s names were among the 12 reiterated by the Supreme Court Collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, on September 1.
For the Allahabad High Court, the Collegium reiterated its recommendation to appoint three judicial officers Om Prakash Tripathi, Umesh Chandra Sharma and Syed Waiz Mian.
For the Rajasthan High Court, the Collegium reiterated its recommendation for advocate Farzand Ali, the Additional Advocate General with the Congress led-state government. On October 11, Ali’s name — recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium for the first time in July 2019 — was cleared by the government.
For the Calcutta High Court, the Collegium reiterated recommendation for appointment of advocates Jaytosh Mazumdar, Amitesh Banerjee, Raja Basu Chowdhury and Lapita Banerji. On October 8, the Collegium reiterated its recommendation to appoint another advocate, Sakya Sen, to the High Court.
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