Srinagar, Aug 11: Governor N N Vohra administered Oath of Office to Justice Gita Mittal as first woman Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court at an impressive Oath Ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan today.
The Warrant of Appointment of Justice Mittal as Chief Justice of the J&K High Court was read out by the Registrar General of the High Court.
Justice Gita Mittal Ahmed is the 33rd Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court
After administering Oath Governor congratulated Justice Mittal and wished her a highly successful tenure as Chief Justice of the State High Court.
Usha Vohra, First Lady; Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, former Chief Ministers; B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar and Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Advisors to Governor; serving and retired Judges of Supreme Court and J&K High Court; BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; D C Raina, Advocate General; Dr S P Vaid, Director General of Police; high ranking Civil, Judicial and Police officers; senior Advocates; members of Justice Mittal’s family and a large number of her friends were present on the occasion.
Pertinently, there are 17 positions in the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir including Chief Justice. Of them 12 are permanent judges and 5 additional judges. With the appointment of Justice Gita Mittal as Chief Justice J&K High Court, the strength of the High Court Judges has gone up to 11 and six posts are vacant.
Justice Gita Mittal was born on 9th December, 1958 to parents who were in academics. An alumna of the Lady Irwin Higher Secondary School [Science batch of 1975], Lady Shri Ram College For Women [BA (Eco. Hons.) 1978] and the Campus Law Centre, Delhi University [(LL.B) 1981], she was appointed as an Additional Judge of Delhi High Court on 16th July, 2004.
Prior to her appointment as Additional Judge, she had an illustrious legal practice in all courts and other judicial forums since 1981. Justice Mittal was confirmed as a permanent judge on the 20th of February, 2006.
As a judge, she has presided over several jurisdictions including heading a Division Bench hearing criminal appeals involving life and death sentence references; matters of the Armed Forces; Cooperative Societies; Criminal Contempt References; Criminal Appeals; Death References; Company Appeals; Writ Petitions and Letters Patent Appeals relating to the Armed Forces. She currently presides over a Division Bench hearing writ petitions arising out of orders of the Central Administrative Tribunal and other service matters.
Since August, 2008, Justice Gita Mittal has been a member of the Governing Council of the National Law University, Delhi. She is also a member of the Governing Council of the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi since 2013 and has been nominated to its Administrative Committee.
Justice Mittal is presently chairing the court committees on the Delhi High Court’s Mediation and Conciliation Centre as well as the committee monitoring the Implementation of Judicial Guidelines for Dealing with Cases of Sexual Offences and Child Witnesses. She has spearheaded the Vulnerable Witness Court Project in the trial courts in Delhi leading to the first such court room in India being inaugurated on 16th September, 2012 and the second on 11th September, 2013.
She has also served on the COFEPOSA Advisory Board, under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange & Prevention of Smuggling Act, 1974; and the committee responsible for assessing the performance of judicial officers for their recommendation for elevation as Judge of the Delhi High Court. She was appointed as a single judge Tribunal under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 in February, 2008 to examine the Government ban on activities of the Students of Islamic Movement in India (SIMI).
Deeply engaged with the work of institutional strengthening, Justice Mittal has also served as a member of the Committee Against Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place; Working Conditions and Welfare Committee For Judicial Officers/staff of High Court and District Courts; Committee to assess the performance of additional Judges of this Court while recommending their appointment as permanent Judges and to assess the judgments of additional Judges for the purpose of extension of their terms as additional Judges; Library Committee; Committee on Introduction of Evening Courts/Shift System in Subordinate Courts; and the Examination-cum-Judicial Education and Training Programme Committee.