SC Collegium clears four names for elevation as High Court Judges

JAMMU, APR 6: The Supreme Court collegium led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra has cleared names of four candidates namely Wasim Sadiq Nargal, Nazir Ahmed Beig, Sindhu Sharma from Advocate quota whereas Rashid Ali Dar from Judicial quota for elevation as judges to J&K High Court.
Supreme Court collegium deferred the recommendation of Showkat Ahmad Makroo.
A candidate is initially appointed as a judge of the HC for a two-year period as an additional judge and then is conferred the status of a permanent judge after the collegium is satisfied with his or her judicial work.
The names were cleared at a meeting convened on April 6, 2018. The collegium comprises the CJI and the two senior-most judges of the Supreme Court. At present, Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Ranjan Gogoi are members of the collegium.
It is worthwhile to mention here that the names once cleared by the collegium are sent to the Centre for approval after which a formal warrant of appointment is issued by the President.
It is worthwhile to mention here that on August 24, 2017 State High Court has submitted a panel comprising five names for their appointment as Judges and also forwarded the detailed proposal to the office of Chief Minister. The panel comprised four Advocates – two each from Jammu and Kashmir regions respectively while one senior Judicial Officer has also been included in the panel. These included Nazir Ahmad Beigh, S A Makroo, Wasim Nargal, Sindhu Sharma and Rashid Ali Dar”, sources added.
Rashid Ali Dar had retired as Principal District and Session Judge Srinagar on November 30, 2017.
Advocate Sindhu Sharma is presently Assistant Solicitor General of India in J&K High Court, Jammu Wing and she was the first lady Advocate of State to be appointed as Assistant Solicitor General of India.
Advocate Wasim Sadiq Nargal is presently Senior Additional Advocate General in the Jammu Wing of the High Court.
It is worthwhile to mention here that the sanctioned strength of the J&K High Court is 17 Judges including Chief Justice, but presently there are only 10 Judges. These included Justice R Sudhakar Acting Chief Justice, Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir, Justice Alok Aradhe, Justice Ali Mohd Magrey, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Justice Tashi Rabstan, Justice Janak Raj Kotwal, Justice Sanjeev Kumar, Justice M K Hanjura and Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta .
According to the resolution passed by the Supreme Court Collegium that this file relates to the proposal for appointment of the following four Advocates and one Judicial Officer as Judges of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court are Wasim Sadiq Nargal, Nazir Ahmed Beig, Sindhu Sharma, Showkat Ahmad Makroo and Rashid Ali Dar Judicial Officer.
SC Collegium further observed that the above recommendation was made by the then Chief Justice of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court on 24th August 2017, in consultation with his two senior-most colleagues.
At present, there is no Judge in the Supreme Court conversant with the affairs of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court to ascertain suitability of the above-named recommendees.
In order to assess merit and suitability of the above-named recommendees for elevation to the High Court, we have carefully scrutinized the material placed in the file which includes the views of the Chief Minister and the Governor for the State of Jammu & Kashmir, complaints against the recommendations and reports / comments thereon of the Intelligence Agencies, their age, income, statistics of reported / unreported judgments and pro bono cases handled by the Bar members, as well as the observations made by the Department of Justice in the file. As regards Shri Rashid Ali Dar, Judicial Officer, we have also considered his service record, report of Judgment Assessment Committee, ACRs and also the fact that on the date of vacancy he was below 58-1/2 years and thus qualifies the age criterion applicable to a Judicial Officer recommended for elevation. Apart from this, we invited all the recommendees with a view to have an interaction with them. On the basis of the interaction we had with the recommendees and having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that Wasim Sadiq Nargal Nazir Ahmed Beig, Sindhu Sharma, Advocates and Rashid Ali Dar, Judicial Officer are suitable for being appointed as Judges of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, SC collegium observed.
As regards Showkat Ahmad Makroo, Advocate (mentioned at Sl. No. 4 above) having regard to the material on record, we are of the considered view that consideration of his case can wait. The proposal for his elevation is accordingly deferred for the present, SC collegium observed.
In view of the above, the Collegium resolves to recommend that Wasim Sadiq Nargal, Nazir Ahmed Beig, and Sindhu Sharma, Advocates and Rashid Ali Dar, Judicial Officer be appointed as Judges of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court and their inter se seniority be fixed as per the existing practice. JNF